This is part of a summer series spotlighting NYC’s ice cream parlors and other cold treats specialists.
Egger’s Ice Cream Parlor may be a fixture of Staten Island’s history, but it hasn’t stopped evolving.
Last month, the business opened its third island outpost at the Urby development in Stapleton. Compared with the old-fashioned flavor of its original West Brighton and year-old Historic Richmond Town parlors, the light-filled Urby location, with floor-to-ceiling windows, is Egger’s most modern branch yet, says owner Danielle Raleigh. But customers can still expect the shop’s old-fashioned ice cream, candies and toppings made from scratch (think hot fudge, whipped cream, caramel and butterscotch).
The Urby location also makes Egger’s — a go-to for Staten Island residents — more accessible to people from other boroughs, Raleigh says.
“We’re able to service people even easier coming from Manhattan and Brooklyn because you can take the ferry to Staten Island and we’re one train stop over or a 10-15 minute walk right along the river,” says Raleigh, a Staten Island native who lives on the North Shore.
The ice cream shop predates most Egger’s customers. Richie Egger founded the parlor in 1932, developing more than two dozen original flavors that are still on the menu today. The shop changed hands before it was purchased by Oleg Nemkin, Raleigh’s former boss. Raleigh had worked for Egger’s since she was 15, taking a break to attend Niagara University for hospitality and then to work for a hotel in the city. She continued helping out at Egger’s before buying it from Nemkin in 2014.
“I loved it, I knew it was an iconic thing on Staten Island,” Raleigh, 29, says. “I grew up going there … and I just didn’t want it to close.”
Raleigh attributes Egger’s longtime success to quality. She says her team has been using the same recipes since the 1930s. They’ve even been using the same brand of vanilla extract since the store opened; fittingly, vanilla is Egger’s most popular flavor.
As it gears up for the busy summer season, Egger’s recently unveiled one of the shop’s most popular seasonal flavors: peach. This original recipe is a crowd favorite, drawing a line of people outside for its yearly debut.
Beyond scooping out ice cream, all three locations foster a sense of community. Customers can certainly take their ice cream to go, but many like to sit and enjoy the experience with family and friends, Raleigh says, and linger over their brownie sundaes and banana splits.
“It becomes a place where you build memories over time,” she says. “You grow up and you have your own family and you remember going there with your grandparents. Then you’re taking your kids and it becomes a cycle where people develop a love for both the quality of the ice cream and the quaintness of Egger’s.”
- Egger’s serves upward of 24 ice creams at any given time, including four rotating seasonal flavors and a dairy-free vegan option.
- The most popular flavor is vanilla, followed by coffee and cookies and cream.
- The only original flavor that’s been retired is tutti-frutti. Once a hot item back in the 1930s, it garnered few requests today, Raleigh says. Egger’s still makes a batch every year for the parlor’s anniversary in March as a treat for longtime customers.
- Egger’s hot fudge, whipped cream, caramel, butterscotch, black cherry, marshmallow, wet walnut, peanut butter, waffle cone crumb, and coffee and vanilla syrup toppings are all homemade.
- Egger’s is located at 1194 Forest Ave. in West Brighton, 441 Clarke Ave. in Historic Richmond Town, and 8 Navy Pier Court in Stapleton. For more info, visit eggersicecream.com.