There’s something so satisfying about a refreshingly sweet scoop of rich, creamy ice cream. (Cookies n’ cream, please.)
No matter the occasion, it’s a treat that always seems appropriate — and always makes the day a bit brighter.
So it only seems fitting that when WAG asked Steven Billig, chief financial officer and brand ambassador of Sweet Charlie’s, an ice cream chain that recently opened in Mamaroneck, “Why ice cream?” We quickly rephrased the question to say, “Why not?”
Steven is the father of Jacob, 22, and Kyle, 20, brothers from New Jersey who ambitiously decided to open a chain of ice cream shops because, well, they love ice cream.
“Ice cream is very popular in our house,” Steven says.
But the brothers didn’t want to open any ol’ ice cream shop. They wanted Sweet Charlie’s to have an edge, to stand out from the crowd. So they opted for Thai-inspired ice cream rolls, which are fresh — never frozen — and made in less than two minutes before the customer’s eyes. Not only is this entertaining, but it also eliminates the need to add stabilizers, emulsifiers and preservatives, ensuring the freshest possible quality.
“There are people that are serving ice cream, but their ice cream could be frozen for six or seven months in a freezer before serving it to their customers,” says Steven. “For our ice cream, we don’t have any freezers.”
The family receives its batter from a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, which is delivered to all of its locations — to include 20 shops by the end of the summer — on a weekly basis. When customers select their treat, they can watch the process unfold as a cup of the flavored batter is placed on a cold grill (-4 degrees Fahrenheit), which acts as a cooling agent that freezes the batter. Once the batter is frozen, it can be scraped using a broad, flat blade that molds the product into rolls.
“We just want to bring the customer the freshest, healthiest version of ice cream that we can bring,” says Steven.
When customers visit Sweet Charlie’s, they follow a menu that has four steps. First, they are to select a base, which includes premium ice cream, nonfat yogurt and a vegan option. Next, they can decide whether they’d like their treat in a cup or on a Tall Charlie, which is a scrumptious, oven-baked, glazed doughnut. Next comes the flavor, an array of mouth-watering combinations with catchy names, including: Kiss and Tell (mint Oreo), S’more Please (graham cracker, chocolate and roasted marshmallow), So Cal (Acai, honey, coconut, and banana) and Monkey See, Monkey Do (Nutella and banana).
“My go-to flavor is the Wonder Filled,” says Steven, speaking about a delicious Oreo-flavored blend. The Namaste, he says, which is a blend of strawberries and cheesecake, has also been particularly popular with guests.
Finally, customers can choose from a selection of unlimited toppings, which include fruit, such as blueberries, banana, and strawberries, chocolate, like chocolate chips, chocolate drizzle, and M&Ms; and sugary choices, such as roasted marshmallow, doughnut bites, caramel drizzle, whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.
Not only is Sweet Charlie’s available for visits, but the shop offers catering options as well.
And who’s Charlie? He’s the brothers’ pup, a wheaten terrier and a poodle mix, to be precise.
Sweet Charlie’s is at 362 Mamaroneck Ave. in Mamaroneck. For more, call 914-835-6666 or visit sweetcharlies.com.