J.P. Licks Serves Free Ice Cream

Promise of free scoops for students draws crowds to new ice cream shop

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Rachel M. Douglas

Only a few months after its grand opening, J.P. Licks hosts a free ice cream day for students yesterday, drawing long lines of students waiting patiently to get a complimentary scoop.

Harvard students braved a long line on Mass. Ave. yesterday to get their hands on free homemade ice cream at J.P. Licks.

The local company, which has eight locations throughout the Greater Boston area and moved into Harvard Square early this summer, created the promotion to appeal to college students returning to the city for the start of the new school year.

Ice cream enthusiasts, bearing their ID cards to prove that they were students, endured a lengthy wait and unseasonably cool weather—but their excitement suggested that the free ice cream would be ample compensation.

“I’ve always liked J.P. Licks,” said Kenneth G. Saathoff ’09. “The ice cream is really creamy.”

The Harvard senior listed Oreo cake batter as his favorite flavor at the 27-year-old company, but he said that he wanted to try the apple crisp.

Even though he said he preferred Toscanini’s—which occupied the storefront next door before the entire building was renovated last year—Saathoff added, “It’s still a great product. I’ll definitely be a repeat customer in the future.”

Other students were first-time patrons of J.P. Licks eager to try some of the many flavors offered.

“I’ve never been here, but I’m very excited to try it out,” said Luis A. Martinez, Jr. ’12. “No one I know has had it before, but I saw the sign while walking by the other day, and I told myself, ‘I’ll be here on Tuesday.’”

Martinez ordered chocolate chip ice cream and said he was pleased with his choice, also calling it “creamy.”

“They’ve definitely got a great business strategy,” Martinez said.

The shop was crowded all day, according to Emma K. Healy, one of the busy ice cream servers.

“I think that the incentive for free ice cream is pretty appealing for anyone, and especially for college students,” Healy said.

Healy said the Oreo cake batter was one of the more requested flavors of the day.

“But apple flavors have been pretty popular today as well because of the fall,” Healy added.

—Staff writer Prateek Kumar can be reached at