Ice cream that’s good for you? LES shop Bive says its sweet treats have ‘purpose’

Bive, at 95 Orchard St. in Manhattan, is a shop offering ice cream made from natural ingredients that enhance our abilities and entice our taste buds. Most flavors are vegan and gluten-free.  Photo Credit: Todd Maisel

With ingredients like valerian root, echinacea and vitamin C, the LES spot’s cones target anxiety, skin and joint health, the immune system and general well-being.

Bive, at 95 Orchard St. in Manhattan, is a shop offering ice cream made from natural ingredients that enhance our abilities and entice our taste buds. Most flavors are vegan and gluten-free. 
Bive, at 95 Orchard St. in Manhattan, is a shop offering ice cream made from natural ingredients that enhance our abilities and entice our taste buds. Most flavors are vegan and gluten-free.  Photo Credit: Sabrina Thompson / Kuu Photography

A new ice cream shop is taking the old adage "a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down" to heart.

Bive, at 95 Orchard St. on the Lower East Side, is entering its first summer of offering mostly vegan ice cream created with natural ingredients, including one flavor that is said to reduce stress.

The "Soothe Me Up" flavor, made with toasted coconut, almond milk, dark chocolate chips, vanilla and coconut cream, uses valerian root to calm the body and mind but satisfies the sweet tooth without using dairy and high amounts of sugar.

"Valerian targets your nervous system, so a lot of people who have insomnia or are having a stressed day, it might take a little bit more time, but they start feeling it," Carla Noboa, Bive’s founder, told amNewYork.

Carla Noboa, 28, owner of the store, shows off "Boost Me Up" (yellow) and "Keep Me Balanced" (red).
Carla Noboa, 28, owner of the store, shows off "Boost Me Up" (yellow) and "Keep Me Balanced" (red). Photo Credit: Todd Maisel

The natural effect is calming and takes the edge off, according to Noboa and her staff. 

Billed as "an ice cream with purpose," Bive also offers sorbets like "Keep Me Strong," with echinacea and soursop for an immunity bump; "Boost Me Up," with collagen, passion fruit chia seeds, coconut water and amaranth for skin and joint health; and "Keep Me Balanced," with strawberries, goji berries and vitamin C for stress reduction and general well-being.

Creamy ice cream flavors include "Pick Me Up," made with dark chocolate, coconut milk, amaranth, coconut cream and chia seeds for energy, and "Keep Me Comfy," with peppermint, aloe vera, dark chocolate and oat milk for digestion.

Each ingredient has a purpose, from the chocolate chips that offer antioxidants to the oat and coconut milk that are nourishing and hydrating.

The shop’s cones, from Brooklyn’s own The Konery, are gluten-free, too.

When crafting the menu, Noboa, 28, thought about what ails New Yorkers, the vitamins and natural ingredients that can help alleviate those issues, and how to put a "fun" and sweet twist on it, she said.

"When we were thinking about what people want and complain about is anxiety — they can’t sleep," she said. "We studied what valerian root does to your nervous system and the doses we are allowed to use for each serving and formulated the ice cream."

With a degree in business and nutrition, Noboa wanted to tackle the vitamin and superfood industry, which is "saturated" with vitamin gummy bears, and bring something new to it, she said.

Bive employee Keira Gardner and confection maker Yasmeen Coplin show off their flavors.
Bive employee Keira Gardner and confection maker Yasmeen Coplin show off their flavors. Photo Credit: Todd Maisel

She has a whole team of people behind her, including Yasmeen Coplin, a confections maker with a fine dining culinary background who is often behind the counter serving ice cream.

"People have what I call ‘grateful perplexion,’" she said, describing customers’ reactions to the ice cream. "They come and go ‘What are you serving me?’ and then say ‘I’ve never had something taste this clean before.’ People like to know that they can have a treat that is not going to make them feel like crap later."

While the shop is open daily from noon to 11 p.m., the ice cream will be available in select stores soon and Lower East Siders take note: Bive delivers via GrubHub, Postmates and UberEats.

Shaye Weaver