What I Do: Jordan Goodman, owner of Good Ice premium ice company
Jordan Goodman is the owner of Good Ice, a premium ice company that supplies many of your favorite bars and restaurants around town (Olive + Oak, Lazy Tiger, The Lucky Accomplice, to name a few) as well as home cocktail enthusiasts. He and “right-hand guy” Kyle Gillespie are both longtime bar and restaurant professionals (Gillespie is bar manager for Salve Osteria and the Gin Room, while Goodman is beverage director for all Salt + Smoke locations), and their collective years of experience behind the bar give them unique insight into the creative possibilities of cocktail ice, as well as the practical needs of the businesses they supply. Here, Goodman explains the physics behind premium ice and some of the projects that helped launch Good Ice.
“We make clear ice for the bar and restaurant community. We also do events, a lot of weddings. ... But the main bulk of our business is supplying to bars and restaurants for specialty cocktails, whiskey drinks and stuff like that.”
“We work in bars, and we really like the custom side of things. So we really enjoy doing those and getting creative and using our bar skills to create different cubes that can really wow people.”
“[The business] kind of started with Lucky Accomplice the year they opened, with a watermelon cube for Wil Brawley, when he was running that [bar]. He had a clarified watermelon punch, and we put a watermelon [syrup] cube on there and people just went crazy for it – it was all over social media, and people loved it.”
“And then we started getting into the customization for Lazy Tiger originally, doing stamps on [their ice cubes]. … We can do logos that we freeze in there. We actually have an engraving machine that we’ll be going live with next month – we’ll be able to carve in logos or messages or whatever we want. That custom side is where we really have a lot of fun.”
“The way that the ice freezes, it's called directional freezing. That's how you create these big blocks of perfectly clear cubes. So my machine has a plate on the bottom that freezes everything – it’s a big plate, and it freezes bottom up instead of freezing like a normal freezer that freezes outside in.”
“That's why when you get a cube that you freeze in a tray … there's always a cloudy bit in there. All those impurities freeze on a nice, perfect crystal structure on the outside, but it’s pushing those impurities inside and then traps all those minerals and air bubbles and stuff inside. And that's when you get a cloudy cube. You can purify that [water] and boil it and do all the things you want to it, but it's never going to be clear like our cubes are.”
“Every bar and restaurant we go into, we go and measure the glassware [to] cut a custom size. A lot of other places will just offer two sizes. But we've been in the bar industry for a long time, and we realize that one size doesn't fit all. … If you're a small mom-and-pop, or if you're just opening up and you got all this glassware and then we come in and say, ‘Actually no, to use our ice you have to get a different size cube’ – we just custom fit everything.”
“And we're going to start this month hopefully, or maybe next month … doing custom [ice] for people to just come by and pick up if they want. Say it was for the Fourth of July, we could do … a flag carving or something like that.”
“My favorite, and what's really got a lot of momentum right now, is the big, tall, kind of Collins, highball-style cubes. Those are really beautiful because those glasses have a lot more viewing area … where you can see that cube, but when you pour a drink on top of it, it just completely disappears. … But, as you drink that cocktail down, it starts appearing … kind of out of nowhere, and it's really beautiful, and people kind of go crazy for it when they get it at a bar.”
Good Ice, 2241 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314.504.5306, goodicestl.com
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