WOOD-RIDGE, NJ -- “We are going to bring a European style cafe to Wood-Ridge and Hasbrouck Heights,” said Adam Mucci, owner of the soon-to-be-open FM Cafe in Wood-Ridge.
Located on Valley Bloulevard, FM Cafe will hold its soft opening on Friday, April 26, offering free samples from 3 to 5 p.m. They will offer 16 flavors of ice cream and gelato, plus milkshakes, soft serve, coffees, a variety of cheesecakes and specialty cakes including tiramisu, toasted almond cake, lemonchello, and semifreddo. The cafe will also offer ice cream making parties and workshops.
The staff will include a full-time gelato maker in Gregg Formisano, as well as Mucci's son, Justin, and high school students.
The newest spot for ice cream, gelato, coffee and pastries is the venture of Mucci and his business partner and former college roommate Mike Flaherty, of FM Display Concepts, which is the distributor of ice cream machines, display cases, blast freezers, and soft serve machines.
The shop is a working functional cafe in front, offering ice cream gelato, speciality coffees, and pastries. In the back will be a showroom for restaurateurs and others in the food business industry to comes and design their stores and projects.
Mucci’s trips to Italy for the past 20 years helped inspire the new concept.
“Food is such a part of their culture,” he explained. “The ice cream is a big part of that. We want people to know what it’s like to go on an escape, on a trip to a true European style cafe.”
The man in charge of making the sweet concoctions is Gregg Formisano, who has decades of experience in the food and customer service industry. Formisano has been trained by Martin Gregori, a gelato and pastry master chef from Italy.
“Gregg is an artisanal gelato maker,” said Mucci. “We’re lucky to have him, too. He’s really passionate about it. He wakes up in the middle of the night and thinks of flavors.”
“I’m super-excited about making ice cream,” said Formisano. “This is a passion.”
His midnight ice cream inspirations include a Girl Scout cookie.
“I love Samoas,” he said. “Salted caramel toasted coconut, chocolate, a little cookie. It works.”
He said he’s toasted coconut and made peanut butter sauce late at night. He’s even woken his wife Lori up to get her opinions.
“It’s awesome. It’s so much fun,” Formisano said. “You’re eating ice cream and you’re happy. It’s a fun job because everybody should be happy when they’re eating ice cream.”
FM Cafe is located at 255 Valley Boulevard, Wood-Ridge, and will be open seven days a week through the summer. An official grand opening is planned for a later date.
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