CRANFORD, NJ – The rolled ice cream craze has hit Cranford with the grand opening of A La Mode Creamery.
The business was inspired by ice cream store 10Below in New York City, according to store owners Kevin Castor and Dan Doering, both 24. The two noticed long lines and large crowds filling the New York shop every day.
“We figured that if we make a bigger, better one here in New Jersey, then everyone will come to us,” Doering said. “It’s starting to pop up a lot, but we’re not going for your typical ice cream store. We want this to be a five-star restaurant. We want to completely recreate the mold for what dessert places should be.”
A La Mode Creamery stands out with its technique, which includes serving the rolled ice cream on black plates with gold spoons. The restaurant is decorated in black and gold with an emphasis on the store’s marketing campaign, “The New Gold Standard.”
“It’s been a journey,” Castor said. “We’ve spent a lot of money to make sure it’s efficient and professional. Every second counts.”
Doering and Castor said they experimented with different ice cream bases for months before deeming it perfect. The base is poured in a liquid form onto a freezing cold plate and mixed with different ingredients. It’s then spread flat to freeze before being rolled.
The ice cream base options include the standard vanilla and chocolate in addition to charcoal, green tea and dairy and gluten-free vanilla. More than 20 toppings are available as well.
“We try to cater to everyone,” Castor said.
Castor and Doering are friends from elementary school and reconnected while working at Galloping Hill in Kenilworth. They looked in neighboring towns to open a business, but landed on Cranford.
“Cranford just blew it away,” Doering said. “It’s family oriented but there’s still a nightlife. We want to make this area of town more alive.”
In addition to ice cream, A La Mode Creamery features espresso, pastries and more, with all baked goods provided by Cake Artist Café. In the future, Castor and Doering plan to install a pick-up window and rent the space for events and business meetings.
“We don’t want people to think of us as just ice cream,” Doering said. “We’ll be a one-stop shop for all dessert.”
A La Mode Creamery is located at 2 South Avenue West and will celebrate its grand opening Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. Half of the proceeds earned this weekend will be donated to the Cranford Police Department and Cranford Fire Department.