In the same vein as the Olympic Provisions becoming Olympia Provisions, Little Bean — the chickpea-based, dairy-free ice-cream shop from restaurateur Micah Camden — is now Little Chickpea. The name change comes after a stalemate with the behemoth baby food brand Gerber, who retain the trademark for their discontinued Lil’ Beanies.
When Camden began working on Little Bean, he applied for a trademark for the name; Camden wants to get Little Bean ice cream products in grocery stores, but he couldn’t go for wider distribution without a trademark. He discovered Gerber retained its trademark for Lil’ Beanies, even though the company’s lawyers said they didn’t plan to reintroduce the product. Camden planned to wait until the trademark expired, but Camden says the company decided to keep the trademark. “I just said, ‘Screw it,’” Camden says. “They weren’t reaching out to mess with us, but I couldn’t keep waiting.”
Less than a year old, Little Chickpea changed its name today, along with the name of its scoop shop in the Pearl District, now Little Chkpea. In a press release, Camden took a positive stance. “While we were less than pleased with the legal battle, we’re happy for the clarification that came through the necessity to change our name,” he writes. “This challenge presented an enormous opportunity, forcing us to rethink our brand and what we’re offering to consumers. The ‘bean” in Little Bean was often confused for soybeans, commonly used in ice cream.” The clarification might help the ice creamery, which doesn’t use soy, gluten, dairy, or nuts in its products that range from ice cream to cookies and breads.