Pandemic Side Hustle Dre’s Desserts Delivers Delicious Ice Cream

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A photo of Cookie Monster, Vegan Chocolate Cookie Crunch ($10 each pint)

Cookie Monster, Vegan Chocolate Cookie Crunch ($10 each pint)

Scott Lynch/Gothamist

Andre Olivier really likes sweets. A Flatbush native who grew up and still lives in the area right around Brooklyn College, Olivier used to bake a lot as a kid, but his reign as the "King of Desserts," as his friends and family called him, appeared to come to an end when he went to Carnegie Mellon to study civil engineering. After that, he got a job in construction management, specializing in demolition projects.

Even though his sister Simone got an ice cream maker for Christmas in 2017, and the two of them started to churn out quarts of the stuff together, Olivier didn't really have the time to focus on perfecting his craft. Then came the pandemic, and when Olivier got furloughed from his job last April, he decided to go all in, teaching himself the ice cream game and setting up his own small business, called Dre's Desserts.

A photo of Andre Olivier, making the rounds

Andre Olivier, making the rounds

Scott Lynch/Gothamist

Although Olivier is clearly the driving force here, Dre's Desserts is something of a friends & family operation. "During early COVID I built the website with my friend Adam, and my friend Lilian helped create my logo," Olivier told Gothamist last week. And rather than rent out a commercial kitchen, Olivier is currently using his grandfather's place in Flatbush as his ice cream factory. "He's got the most space out of all of us," he explains.

Olivier is back doing his day job now, but Dre's Desserts seems poised to take off. The mechanics are simple: you order $10 pints from his impressively lengthy menu by Thursday of each week, and then Olivier spends the weekend driving around to Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan with his deliveries, a super-freezer keeping everything solid in the rear of his SUV.

A photo of Peanut Butter and Jam French Toast ($10 pint)

Peanut Butter and Jam French Toast ($10 pint)

Scott Lynch/Gothamist

I've gleefully made my way through five pints of Olivier's ice cream over the past week, and can report that his stuff ranks right up there with some of the best in town. It's definitely on the sweet side—flavors like Cookie Monster, Sticky Icky Cinnabun, Crack Pie, and the Fruity Pebbles-inspired Bedrock Do or Die will do that—but the textures are terrific, and the balance between the creamy base and the crunchy mix-ins are just right.

The Peanut Butter and Jam French Toast was particularly well executed—it's based on the "hundreds" of French Toast PB&Js Olivier ate growing up, so there's some cinnamon in the mix—as was the Crack Pie, his homage to Christina Tosi's famous creation that Olivier's grandmother used to serve every year at Thanksgiving. The Big Face Jimmy Coffee was also first-rate, inspired by Jimmy Butler's coffee shop in the NBA bubble and loaded with chewy brownie bits and a fudge swirl.

A photo of Big Face Jimmy Coffee ($10 pint)

Big Face Jimmy Coffee ($10 pint)

Scott Lynch/Gothamist

A photo of Crack Pie ($10 pint)

Crack Pie ($10 pint)

Scott Lynch/Gothamist

Other flavors include the simple Madagascar Vanilla, festive Peppermint Mocha Chip, and the slightly unhinged Court Street, which attempts to combine all of Olivier's favorite snacks at the Court Street Theater—popcorn, pretzels, M&Ms, chocolate chip cookie dough—into a single scoop. Five vegan flavors are available, including Lemon Blueberry Pie, and there are several "spiked pints" on the menu as well, featuring a generous pour of bourbon, whiskey, or rum.

You can order a half-dozen very good cookies too, either Golden Chocolate Chip or Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip, which are delivered in charmingly DIY fashion: loose in a standard Ziploc bag. Olivier's sister Simone is in charge of all the cookies. "She's a beast baker," says Olivier. "She's 17 and has been baking since she was nine, and has all the recipes in her head, but she's studying for her AP tests right now so we're keeping that part of the menu limited."

A photo of Golden Chocolate Chip Cookies ($8 per half dozen)

Golden Chocolate Chip Cookies ($8 per half dozen)

Scott Lynch/Gothamist

Olivier is taking a wait-and-see approach about the future of Dre's Desserts; he bought a commercial ice cream maker at a discount from the sadly shuttered Ice & Vice shop a few months ago, but it remains in storage until he can determine whether he can turn this side gig into a career.

"Most of my life is work right now," says Olivier, who, in addition to his full-time engineering job and nighttime ice cream job, also coaches football at Boys and Girls High School in Bed-Stuy and is the co-founder of a salon and barbershop in Crown Heights. "But it's very fun making ice cream. And I just like eating ice cream." Me too, man. Me too.

Dre's Desserts is currently accepting orders for weekend delivery on Olivier's website, dresdesserts.com, or via DM on his Instagram.

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