BY GABE HERMAN | A lot of local ice cream shops boast that their flavors are locally made, but I-CE-NY actually makes its ice cream from scratch right in front of you in the shop. It’s hard to get more local than that.
The company started in Thailand, where it expanded to 30 locations in just its first six months. In 2015, founder Kajitsa Premwimol decided to expand to America, and the first shop in the States opened at 101 MacDougal St. The shop is still there, on the busy block between Bleecker and W. Third Sts.
Business continues to boom, and the company now has more than 250 locations throughout Asia, and more than 20 in America in all parts of the country, from Florida to Colorado to Michigan.
The MacDougal St. spot is small and can get crowded, but it’s worth any wait to see the ice cream being made. It’s prepared near the counter area on big metal plates that reach temperatures as low as 15 degrees below zero.
First, an ice cream base is poured out onto the plate, and other ingredients are then added in based on flavor options, like Rose Lychee, Mango Sticky Rice, Strawberry Cheesecake and S’mores. Custom orders can also be made, with a choice from 20 mix-in ingredients and more than 30 toppings.
Metal paddles are then used to quickly chop up all the ingredients and mash them together, to be spread into a thin layer. Within a couple of minutes, the ice cream firms up with the ingredients mixed in, and it’s then scraped up into rolls and served in cups.
Despite the unique appearance of being served in rolls, the end result is a great and familiar ice cream taste, very creamy and with a thin, smooth texture. That, along with the fun of watching how it’s made, make it easy to see why the company is thriving.
More information can be found at icenyicecream.com.