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THE GREAT LICKTATOR LOWThere is something sordid, concealed in the sanitised history of Covent Garden as written by its current custodians. The area was once the red light district for London. I found this out after I was asked to tap into the heritage of the area last April when we first moved into our store on the Piazza. Our nervous landlords, fearful of a reprise of the Baby Gaga episode which had preceded our arrival, wanted me to tap into something more wholesome. Like fruit and veg ice cream in honour of Covent Gardens greener glories.

But dig a bit deeper beyond the luxury brands, the trashy tourism and glossy veneer, in the 18th century this place was Sodom and Gomorrah. What better way of honouring Covent Garden I thought, than a ‘Thawnography’ season to celebrate it’s carnal history with anatomical fruit and veg lollies and naked ice cream sushi served on the freshly toned buttocks of a nubile young man in a reversal of Japanese tradition.

Clearly my ideas sent them into a panic because before the paint had dried on our humble emporium, I was hauled before the authorities and told that if I did anything that affected the ‘share price’ of the company through my nefarious icecapades, then I’d be melted down and turned into one of the cobbles in the piazza that about two people every weekend break their ankles on.

I couldn’t quite see how a tiny ice cream parlour was going to cause a crash in the share price of a zillion pound property company, but then this wasn’t the first time we’d run into problems in the area.

You might think we go looking for trouble, but sometimes trouble comes looking for us. As soon as we opened our Maiden Lane store, Westminster Council closed the road for the equivalent of Nato bombing missions for the duration of last years Libyan campaign. This euphemism for road works killed business and meant down town Tripoli would have been a more peaceful location than war torn Covent Garden. A months work became six, rubble and dust piled up in the street and I threatened to up the body count by turning the trench in the middle of Maiden Lane into London’s first mass grave where local councillors would be buried head to toe in a line. Face down of course, so the fuckers couldn’t crawl back out.

Because nobody could see past the rubble into this conflict zone, we flew a flag of surrender telling people we were still open. This of course, this broke planning regs despite there having been a flag pole outside the building for 80 years.

It was then the turn of the jackbooted goose-stepping food fascists from (the now dubbed) Breastminster Council who banned (then unbanned) Baby Gaga breast milk ice cream. Yes you can drink yourself to death in Westminster but breast milk – STOP! Such cretinous stupidity must be a genetic disorder passed from person to person through staff inbreeding amongst public service workers. As I valiantly attempted to tell them before they caused a storm in a D cup, there has never been a single recorded death in thousands of years of humanity on planet earth from breast milk.

Next came the Olympics. We had planned the ‘Doh-lympics’ with 5 doughnut rings in a glorious satire of the fact that some of the most artery clogging brands in the universe are sponsoring the worlds biggest ever sporting event. Our line was ‘London 2012, The Frying Games’. Our motto, ‘lower, slower, fatter.’ You may detect a theme developing here, but needless to say our type of satire didn’t travel well amongst the local oligarchy. What chance did we have of running with this? Fat chance.

After being whipped, licked and sucked to within an inch of our lives this was followed by a penetrating Vaseline free 65% rent increase. When we got the news my brain froze to the point where I wanted to top myself in chocolate sauce and hundreds and thousands, flagellating myself in barbed wire underpants on the cold, unforgiving cobbles of Covent Garden.

On top of this, of all the places in his Kingdom he could have gone, God had chosen to urinate perpetually on Covent Garden ever since they announced the drought. Couldn’t he have gone behind a burning bush or something?

Finally, we had the numerous police visits from Scotland Yard as they banned me from going to Covent Garden on the day of the State Opening of Parliament on the grounds of ‘national security’ and attempted to ban me from going within 100 metres of any Olympic venue using the same pathetic justification. I was subsequently called a terrorist at a tenants meeting when the management said one of my political protests ‘…could escalate into violent behaviour, public disorder, ending with a realistic bomb threat.’ Bomb? What sort of bomb does your average ice cream man have in his freezer I asked? Nuclear bomb? Time Bomb? Sex Bomb? Ice cream bombe?

You can’t even mention the words ‘choc ice’ these days without somebody taking offence.

So do me a flavour. When did we become a fascist police state? The bureaucracy has taken over the democracy. It’s strangling creativity, innovation and freedom of speech with rules and regulations that Hitler would have flinched at. Don’t be surprised if you see Angela Merkel chillaxing with Swastika wafers and a new fascist cocktail in honour of the authorities before we go underground later in the year. We might even wear our sprinkles moustaches just to send the local Gestapo into their own meltdown before they sanitise and sterilise Covent Garden of all genuine creativity.

They might be offended. But not half as offended as I am by the Great Licktators who keep the red light of totalitarianism flashing in Covent Garden.

Matt O’Connor, 26th July 2012

DOHLYMPIC WINDOW POSTER LO

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WINTER MENU SIDE 1 LO

Innovative Retailers Part 3 – Where ice cream is much more than just ice and cream

The Name: The Icecreamists

The Place: Covent Garden market and Maiden Lane

The Story: Matt O’Connor is the founder and he is very, very serious about ice cream and the business of sin. Starting out with just a pop-up store in Selfridges in 2009 he has already entered the PR hall of fame with the whole breastmilk icecream (Baby Gaga) shenanigans and subsequent legal battle with Lady Gaga over the name. Oh, and that was after Westminster Council tried to ban it from being sold.

Regrets? You are joking. Mr O’Connor is a one-man publicity machine and he got huge sales out of Baby Googoo (yes, they had to change the name eventually) whilst it was on sale. It sold out on day one. And even now 15-20 people a week come in and ask for it.

Dare I ask who was buying it? Women, women and more women. O’Connor never saw a man ask for it during the whole period. One donor was supplying all the milk for it and for a while ‘it looked more like a milking parlour than an icecream parlour’ back of house. It was all very wholesome however until a certain pop star objected.

What happened? Big lawyers, big threats. O’Connor offered name changes but unaccountably she wasn’t keen. Not even on LadyBoy Gaga.

What’s a cross-dressing LadyBoy Gaga  ice cream made of? Don’t even go there.

Moving on, where does the interest in ice-cream come from? He has worked in ice cream for 25 years but is still fascinated by its mix of childhood fantasy and adult indulgence. He describes his ice cream fantasies as “bitter and twisted like a Roald Dahl story”. And he rails against the paradox of low fat health-trend ice cream.’ In these god-forsaken times people are looking for indulgence.’

So, are toddlers queuing at the door too? Well, not if they have seen the website. It’s all gothic skulls and sharpening knives sound effects. Adult only then. With names like Molotoffee Cocktail, which comes flambéed to your table, it’s definitely aimed at adults. However, his children like it – they say it’s like being in his head. It’s a heady mix of music, fashion inspired by the punk ethic. But he would have made it more x-rated if he could. Having said that, the Maiden Lane outlet is billed as a gay pop-up for over 18’s only.

Do they serve vanilla? Behave. They make all their ice cream fresh every day. They develop a winter collection and a spring/summer collection every year so they have a back catalogue of hundreds of varieties. O’Connor titles himself the ‘Quality Fat Controller’ and does frequent tastings. There will also be a 40-strong blindfold consumer tasting to launch the winter collection. According to O’Connor their popcorn ice cream made Heston Blumenthal (who also has a version) look like Ronald McDonald. He raves about the mulled wine and port sorbetto and don’t even get him on the subject of the popping candy ice cream.

Why? Because apparently it will blow your fillings out.

Crikey, how much does all this excitement cost? £4.50 for two scoops and up to £20 for the ice cream cocktails. The average punter parts with around £10.

Any news on expansion? There’s been lots of interest, from New York, Las Vegas, and Shanghai. But he does not know how it would or could be run overseas. Certainly they would only open one outlet in each country. He does not want to be Starbucks.

Supermarkets must be queuing up? But he’s not keen. In the shop he constructs his own theatre around the customer, with retailers he is stuck with half price deals and BOGOFs. O’Connor thinks allthe value has been stripped out of the premium ice cream sector by the likes of Ben and Jerry’s. He’sgot more important things to think about anyway, there is a TV series filming in October and a bookcoming out next year. And of course his winter collection.

Anything scandalous in it? He’s concentrating on hot desserts, fondues and the like. And his staff will be wearing pink/green tartan kilts – a homage to Dame Vivienne Westwood. But if its scandal you want keep an ear out for his lollies?

Pardon? He’s got a controversial ice lolly coming out. It’s rude apparently. And illegal.

Where can I find out more? Probably on Twitter. O’Connor says social media has been “absolutely critical” to his success. Any slight dip in quality for example and someone will Tweet. Then it is dealt with immediately.

Can he do the same for yogurt? Hell no. Yogurt is for choirboys. But doughnuts are a different matter.  O’Connor is poised to give the British seaside doughnut a punk makeover.

I think we’d better end there.

http://www.retailinsider.com/

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MATT 'ICECREAMIST' PORTRAIT LOBullying is said to be a sign of insecurity, perhaps paranoia.

Either way I can’t help thinking that if I was the world’s most famous pop megastar I would have other things to worry about in life like my face horns, nipple tape, chopping up dead bovines for my latest dress.

That sort of thing.

As a humble ice cream man, I can’t compete, except with a couple of cones placed in a defensive position.

As ‘Gagagate’ tediously lactates its way towards the courts, this Lady has changed position more times than she has recycled Madonna’s image.

First it was an injunction (offered her a choice of alternative names and then called it Goo Goo instead of Gaga), then it was damages (said we’d see her in court), then it was costs (an unlawful claim as litigation hadn’t begun), then she was bizarrely demanding to make a joint statement with me.

Now she is demanding censorship.

Yes, this self-styled champion of internet freedom is throwing her toys out of the pram, screaming (yawn into cornflakes) we remove any reference, anywhere in the universe, to this story and her threats (made public by me) that she threatened to seize my assets and those of my business.

Now, lets get a few things straight here.

I personally don’t have any assets apart from whats sitting on my shoulders and even my wife says thats debatable. If you want to discuss assets, then speak to my ex-wife who has them all and best of luck to you if you did better than I did, which was zlicho.

Or in plain English, fuck all.

However, I don’t take kindly to being threatened, or having my family singled out, or having her legal gestapo at Mishcon de Reya running around bullying, threatening and demanding money with menaces. That’s called extortion.

Further, telling me to shut up and not talk about it – or else – is called blackmail.

And lets be in no doubt here. Ate My Heart Inc is 100% owned and controlled by Lady Gaga.

Sure, she might have advisors, but she has a brain right? She was advocating artistic freedom and freedom of the internet in Malaysia but a few weeks ago? Or was that the amazing impersonator Lady Boy Gaga who will love you long time with thawplay lines like ‘love you long time’ and ‘chicks with licks’.

Her actions are a legitimate matter of public interest as are those of Mishcon de Reya. The fact they are now demanding we remove any reference – including those to third party sites – is as stupid as it is offensive.

Last time I checked, I didn’t live in North Korea, China or Iran.

The story is a matter of public record and in the public domain. Get over it, move along for fucks sake. Don’t be so arrogant as to think you can rewrite history – its called censorship. Its called fascism.

It’s also a super-sized slice of hypocrisy given just a few weeks ago she was talking about freeing Malaysia from censorship because “honesty and truth are always going to liberate us.”

Is that the same sort of liberation that involves running around the planet threatening people’s families, threatening to bankrupt a start up business despite them agreeing to her demands because the alternative was bankruptcy?

If Lady Gaga were a regime, she’d be following the Colonel Gaddafi/Robert Mugabe model, running her empire from a secret compound working on her performance as ‘The Great Licktator”

So what is this about?

Is it one lonely individuals deluded, paranoid obsession that the world is out to get her, when in fact it is she who is out to get the little guy? It is now a David and Goliath confrontation – standing up to a female dictator who wants to own the first utterances of our children, trademark a name first used in pop-culture by the rock band Queen and claim it as her own, original idea.

What has upset her most is that somebody has had the temerity to stand up against her, and fight her publicly over her actions. At best her attitude is like our ice cream, a bit rich. At worst, it’s called fascism and you know what?

Fascism sucks.

Or maybe, just maybe, her lawyers are driving this in a get rich quick scheme to extort as much money out of her as they can? Parliament is a sardine can full of them. They run the country and they run it into the ground. You wouldn’t trust the fuckers to run a bath let alone UK PLC. Using a lawyer is an unpleasant necessity, like a trip to the toilet after a chicken vindaloo.

You know you gotta go. You know its going to be painful. And you know the smell will outlast religion.

Whatever the truth, I’ll offer Lady Gaga this once in a lifetime invitation: Loosen up a bit. Chill out with The Icecreamists, not your lawyers.

We love you, but we don’t love your threats or them.

I’m sure we can sort this out and move on with our lives over a couple of scoops, just you and me, and some dirty ice cream.

Unless of course, you are just stalking me.

Matt O’Connor


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JKL02395On 25th February The Icecreamists were busted on their opening day of business by the establishment.

Westminster Council declared breast milk ice cream as ‘possibly unfit for human consumption.’

13 days later we discovered…

Can breast milk kill you? No.

Can you catch aids from Mr Nippy? No.

Can ice cream really be THIS controversial? You bet.

Can humanity and the children of the world breath a sigh of relief? Yes.

Welcome to what our customers are dubbing ‘Gaga Gate’ and what we are calling Apocalypse Now with ice cream.

Kids, put down that Jack Daniels bottle you were suckling on after being told breast milk was a hazardous material and go back to mummy, because breast is best and it’s back on the menu. We are free to reproduce.

Citizens of Great Britain, pick up your spoons and go back to your dessert bowls because the men in white coats at Westminster have boobed and declared breast milk ice cream SAFE after a week long cold war that saw The Icecreamists do spoon-to-spoon combat with hysterical over-reacting sour-faced bureaucrats and the ‘enemies of enterprise.’

Given that mothers milk has weaned the human race for thousands of years and there is not a recorded incident of anyone dying after suckling on their mothers breast, it’s odd that Westminster Council chose to wade in like Hans Blix UN weapons inspectors looking for weapons of mass destruction.

Having seized two scoops of bio-hazardous breast milk ice cream deemed to be a possible threat to public health, these were then sent off for biological testing in a secret laboratory deep in the English countryside where highly trained scientists poured over every molecule as if they were looking to contain an outbreak of the Ebola virus.

Then the politically and PR motivated folk at Westminster went to the press before they had even written to us notifying us of the situation, thus fuelling the media story and the damaging assertion that our ice cream was a risk to public health. They did this in the full knowledge that our donor had been screened to hospital standards and that our ice cream was probably the safest food in London.

Of course all this comes from a council which less than 10 feet from our front door promotes death by alcoholism, tobacco addiction and any one of a number of other dubious legal substances.

It also brought into question the reputation of our donor; the eloquent and articulate exponent for breast-feeding, Victoria Hiley, whose breasts, appearance and HIV status have been discussed online worldwide for the last two weeks. Victoria’s article for the Guardian here explains her feelings about the situation. It’s been one small lick for man, one giant scoop for motherkind.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2011/mar/07/my-breast-milk-ilady-gaga?INTCMP=SRCH

They thought breast milk ice cream should be busted, but as it turns out in this the mother of all meltdowns, its the authorities that boobed.

As a new business we have been up close and personal with both the authorities and a global superstar, sandwiched in an indecent squeeze that threatened to suffocate The Icecreamists at birth.

Whilst we still have to deal with Miss Germanotta, its probably time for us to say thanks for the mammaries and get back to our mission; liberating the world one lick at a time with lashings of great boutique ice cream, crazy cocktails and some very bad puns.

God Save The Cream!

Matt O’Connor
Founder, The Icecreamists

IMG_0261Thanks to Jim and the boys at Backstreet for our rather funky ‘God Save The Cream’ threads in flouro pink and silver. Check out our quick pics on Facebook. Also we have some dead cool and affordable badges if you can’t stretch to the solid silver ‘Chrome Hearts’ pendants by Great Frog.

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Perez Hilton
‘We want one.’

Selfridges
‘More Sid & Nancy than Ben & Jerry.’

Mark Broadbent, Head Chef, The Icecreamists
‘Anarchy in the UK, with sprinkles.’

Marie Claire
‘Ditch the Ben & Jerry’s, this will get more than your taste buds going.’

The Daily Telegraph 14/8/09
‘Electric.’

The London Paper
Forget traditional vanilla…this will get your blood pumping.’

BitchBuzz.Com
‘Spiced ginger and ginger-nut ‘Prince Harry’? Yes please!’

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