April 17, 2024
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April 17, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Cone, Shake or Cup at Ice Cream on Grand—They’re All Amazing

How many remember an old-fashioned ice cream parlor where you went in, ordered and knew that generally you would have one of the basic ice cream flavors? That is not the feeling one has when walking through the doors of Ice Cream on Grand in Englewood. Give yourself some time to look over all of the different flavors. Servers are very patient and friendly and don’t hesitate to let you taste whatever you like. One flavor is more enticing than the next, but don’t get too used to having a favorite because each time you arrive you’re likely to find another new, inventive must-have flavor.

The store is owned by Syed Rizvi, a lovely man who arrived on these shores from Pakistan, and who has a twinkle in his eye when he expresses how happy it makes him to see people having a good time in his store. Who can be unhappy when they are eating ice cream? Life was not easy for Syed until he reached this stage in his life. Time in a detention center for immigrants was one of the down times in his life but he has done nothing but gain from these harrowing experiences, and he certainly does not forget how fortunate he is to be where he is. He was always a big ice cream fan, and thanks his grandmother for developing his taste for finer flavors. In 1995 he bought Carvel, which was at the location that he is in now, and in 2001 it was converted to Ice Cream on Grand.

Years ago, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry were the staples, but now with 28 flavors in the store, flavors such as Red Velvet Spice (made with cinnamon and pepper and chocolate chips), Nutella and Caramel Dream, Chocolate Seduction and Cookie Monster are some of the hits of the season. Caramel seems to be the new chocolate, with Dulce De Leche popular to many.

When discussing his costs, Syed expressed a fact that none of us generally thinks about when we indulge in something yummy. Twenty-five percent of the cost goes to the product (ingredients), 35 percent goes to help and labor and 15 percent goes to the government with all of the many taxes that must be paid. His profit is 15 percent.

When asked what his favorite flavor is at the moment, he revealed that it is Red Velvet Spice, but he admitted that his favorite changes frequently as new flavors are always being added. Customers hail from local areas as well as many families who drive across the bridge from Manhattan to indulge their tastes. Don’t be surprised to see EMT and police cars in the parking lot, as their drivers also need a treat on a hot summer day. Sugar-free flavors are very popular and kids enjoy Cookie Monster as well as pink for “cotton candy” sherbet and “blue” for blueberry sherbet.

The fact that everything in the store is under the supervision of the KOF-K eliminates the worry about toppings, flavors or utensils. Syed gives much credit and appreciation to the Senter family for making the transition to the KOF-K hashgacha as easy as possible.

They believed in him and he is now benefiting from that. All ice cream in the store is homemade and it is for that reason that Syed is rarely in the store in the afternoons or evenings. He arrives each morning around 5 in order to start making the ice cream. He usually leaves the store by 2 in the afternoon. All fruit-flavored ice creams are made from fresh fruit, and the vanilla in the store is imported from France.

Syed is expanding his business to include birthday parties and other events. He can provide service and dessert for up to 100 people. What a great idea for the next birthday party. Cakes are also available in the store and by special order.

Be sure to look out for the coupon in future issues of the Jewish Link, providing $2 off every order of more than $6.00. Behind the store are comfortable chairs and tables to lounge in while eating. Beautiful pots of flowers adorn the sides and back of the store. Soon there will be a counter with stools. Unfortunately, the store is closed in the winter, when Syed said he does a good deal of sleeping. Very impressive to note are the young people working in his store from various ethnic groups. We are proud of Amanda Leifer, a Jewish Link intern and correspondent, who has been working at the store for two years. She raves about the working conditions (and the ice cream). Also, be sure to say hello to Diaby, a lovely young man from the Ivory Coast who met Syed in the detention center that they were both visiting for many months. Syed has taken him under his wing. He will soon need a job in the fall when the store closes. Any ideas?

 

Take advantage of the proximity of Ice Cream on Grand. It is a treat for everyone—adults and children alike. It’s impossible to not be cheerful when infused with the taste of the best ice cream in New Jersey. Visit Ice Cream on Grand at 523 Grand Avenue, in Englewood, or call 201-569-5346 for more information or orders. The store is open 10am-10:30pm, in summer only. Visit Ice Cream on Grand online at www.icecreamongrand.com.

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