The Slaw Podcast

Ep. 38 I scream, you scream, we all scream for Leona’s Ice Cream

In honor of National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, we get the inside scoop on this beloved local company from co-owner Katie Heldstab

Leona’s Ice Cream

In honor of National Ice Cream Sandwich Day on Aug. 2, we chat with Katie Heldstab, co-owner of Leona’s Ice Cream. Learn how the local company got its name, how they develop and taste test those ice cream sandwiches we love, and which very Pittsburgh flavor has folks making actual phone calls in order to locate it (spoiler alert: it’s strawberry pretzel salad).

View this post on Instagram

Leona’s are here come get some.

A post shared by 52nd Street Market (@52ndstmarket) on

After a wedding present spurred interest in ice cream making, Heldstab set out to make lactose-free ice cream that actually tastes good. Established in 2013, Heldstab and her partner Christa Puskarich deliberately focused on wholesale and slow growth — not only to pay their employees more, but to also support their small business community. They source many of their ingredients from local farms as well as from their own small “ice cream garden” plot in Wilkinsburg.

View this post on Instagram

If you don’t know already, the ladies of @leonasllc are the best. I’ve been fangirling hard since I first met them at a @brewgentlemen pop-up back in 2013. 🥨🍦The teams at @leonasllc x @verylocalpgh created this dynamic flavor ‘Strawberry Pretzel Salad’ over the summer. Hi sun & warm weather, come back pls! I miss you! It was outta this world! Pretzel crumble cookie and sweet strawberry ice cream goodness 🍓🥨 The ladies of Leona’s are releasing ‘Peanut Pretzel Fudge’ on a pretzel cookie later this week! I literally cannot wait to try it & if you tagged in their post.. ILYSM. 🥨🍫🥜 #pittsburghpretzels #pghfoodbloggers #pghfoodies #eatpgh #leonasicecream #icecreamsandwiches #pretzels #pretzel #pgheats #verylocalpgh #brewgentlemen #local #pittsburgh #lactosefree #pretzellover #twistburgh

A post shared by Kerry // twistburgh (@twistburgh) on

To look at some delicious ice cream sandwich photos, follow Leona’s Ice Cream:

And to see where to go buy some ice cream right now, they have a nifty map of their locations.

Pittsburgh’s sweet ice cream history

From the banana split to the Klondike bar to the actual ice cream scoop, Very Local freelancer Boaz Frankel shares some Pittsburgh ice cream history.

Want even more Strawberry Pretzel Salad content? Press play on this delightful dessert video

This episode was hosted by Aadam Soorma, recorded remotely, engineered and edited by Epicast Studios.

Header photo credit: Matt Dayak

Subscribe to The Slaw: Staying on Top of Pittsburgh podcast

The Slaw Podcast is available on: