Like most customers, the Tevenans have pledged their continued loyalty to the restaurants — new name or not — as long as the replacement ice cream tastes the same.
Both the Quincy and Arlington stores are switching to ice cream from the Sugar Maple Creamery. Lambauer said he taste tested multiple brands and went with the one created in Wilmington to minimize any flavor changes for longtime customers. He believes the difference is nearly undetectable. Both brands have similar high butterfat content and even use the same vanilla flavoring from Madagascar.
“The only thing I can do is get the best ice cream, and that’s what I’ve done,” Lambauer said.
He explains the change to customers when they come up to the counter — lined with glass fishbowl jars full of M&M’s and Skittles alongside displays of colorful lollipops — and offers taste tests of the new vanilla for comparison. But some customers who have loved Brigham’s for decades detected the changes, regardless of how slight.
Lambauer said the most noticeable difference is the size of the chips in the new chocolate chip and mint chip flavors. He said the new chips are twice as big and, to his surprise, several customers have complained.
“It compares, but it will never replace,” Mercer, the Arlington store owner, said of the Sugar Maple Creamery brand. “Dedicated Brigham’s customers will like it, they’ll be OK with it, but it’s not Brigham’s.”