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One year ago, Selena Gomez did more than release “Ice Cream” with Blackpink: She announced she's making Serendipity's gourmet ice cream a core part of her business portfolio as a co-owner and investor in Serendipity Brands and its famed New York City restaurant Serendipity3. Now, Gomez is debuting her biggest collab with the Manhattan dessert hotspot yet: her own Selena ice cream sundae on the menu, available for all to order as of today.
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After making her own flavor for Serendipity Brands last year (its Cookies & Cream Remix flavor, which is a decadent pink vanilla ice cream with thick fudge swirl and brown cream-filled cookie pieces), Gomez told ELLE.com that “I was inspired to create something for the menu. The ingredients of the sundae are some of my favorite go-to ice cream sundae toppings.”
The Selena Sundae is made of three scoops of Gomez's Cookies & Cream Remix ice cream, along with banana, hot fudge, cream-filled cookie crumbles, pink sugar, whipped cream and a cherry, as all good sundaes have.
It goes for $29.95 and has a philanthropic component, so you can eat well and feel good: 10 percent of proceeds from the sundae will go to Gomez's Rare Impact Fund, which aims to increase access to mental health services in educational settings. You can learn more about the fund here.
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Below, Gomez detailed to ELLE.com what making the sundae was like ( “yes, there was a lot of taste-testing”), her favorite ice cream flavor, what she has learned about running a business from her work with Rare Beauty and Serendipity over the last year.
Tell me about the role you played creating this sundae. Why were bananas, hot fudge, whipped cream and cream-filled cookies chosen as the toppings for it?
As part owner, investor and longtime lover of Serendipity3, I am so excited for my new sundae to premiere at the restaurant. They are known for their over the top and decadent desserts and following creating my flavor with Serendipity Brands last year, the Cookies & Cream Remix, in tandem with my song “Ice Cream,” I was inspired to create something for the menu. The ingredients of the sundae are some of my favorite go-to ice cream sundae toppings.
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What was the process of creating this sundae like? Was there a lot of taste-testing, or did Serendipity3 get the right flavor combo right away?
Yes, there was a lot of taste-testing, which, as you can imagine, is the best part. I got some of my friends and family involved in the tastings as well. I have to say experimenting with toppings is interesting sometimes combinations you think wouldn’t taste good together actually can surprisingly taste amazing.
You have your Cookies & Cream Remix Serendipity Brands ice cream. If you could make another dream ice cream flavor, what would be in it?
I can’t tell you. You will have to stay tuned and see what we are working on.
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What’s your go-to Serendipity Brands ice cream flavor when you’re having a good day? When you’re having a harder day and looking for comfort food?
I wouldn’t say I have different flavors I seek out for good or bad days. I would say if I am craving more of a nostalgia feeling I would say the Frrrozen Hot Chocolate ice cream. It definitely reminds me of my childhood so in a sense I guess it brings me comfort.
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Serendipity3 is famous for its decadent ice cream sundaes, including its record-setting Grand Opulence sundae, which costs $1,000 and has literal 23-carat gold leaf in it. What’s the craziest ice cream sundae you’ve ever had?
It’s wild the sundaes they come up with. I have not tried the Grand Opulence sundae but maybe I can the next time I visit the restaurant. I generally go for more classic sundaes like our Forbidden Broadway Sundae, which has chocolate blackout cake with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream.
You have Rare Beauty, and you’re an owner and investor in Serendipity3 and Serendipity Brands. What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned about running a business from your work with these brands?
I’ve learned countless lessons from investing in existing companies such as Serendipity3 and especially with starting Rare Beauty from the ground up as well as producing many film and television projects. I think it is important to be involved in something you truly believe in and to listen to others. I don’t pretend to have all of the answers, and I think it’s important to have an open mind and listen to others while making decisions.
Proceeds from the Selena Sundae are going to the Rare Impact Fund, which you launched last year with Rare Beauty. What has been the most rewarding part of creating this fund and making it an initiative of yours to help others have access to mental health resources?
This is the most important thing I am working on as it is personal. I’ve been very open with my mental health struggles and when I founded Rare Beauty I wanted to make a difference. As part of Rare Beauty we created the Rare Impact Fund with a goal to raise a $100 million over the next 10 years to increase access to mental health services. It’s been very rewarding hearing people’s responses to our message with their own stories. It’s very inspiring and encouraging to me that we are making a difference.
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What’s something you’ve learned about the ice cream making process from working with Serendipity3 and Serendipity Brands that surprised you?
It’s not as simple as you might think. I have to say so much time and effort go into the process that was very surprising.
If you could share the Selena Sundae with anyone in the world, who would you split it with at Serendipity3 and why?
I look forward to taking my family members that haven’t been to the restaurant because it’s something you never forget. I remember my first time going there with my mom.
Is there anything you can tease about your work with Serendipity3 that’s coming up soon or any other upcoming projects?
There are definitely a lot of exciting things in store with Serendipity3 and Serendipity Brands—I hope to be able to share some exciting news soon on these additional projects in collaboration with Serendipity3 and Serendipity Brands, but in the meantime, I can’t wait to visit the newly revamped Serendipity3 restaurant in NYC.
The Selena Sundae is available at Serendipity3, which is located at 225 E 60th St, New York, NY, 10022. You can see its menu here and book a reservation here.
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