Ice Cream hits the streets of New York

By Laura Brose c. 2006

Part 5: Frozen Yogurt and Beyond

New York City is also where frozen yogurt launched nationwide as a food fad in the 1980s, with the start of a chain of health food restaurants called Everything Yogurt which originated in Port Richmond, Staten Island. Everything Yogurt grew into a nationwide phenomenon, got bought by Villa Pizza, and provided the capital which established The Nicotra Group as one of the biggest business entities in Staten Island.

Frozen treats of all kinds are still easily bought in many different forms and prices on the streets of New York. High-quality gelato and homemade ice cream, sometimes with offbeat flavors, is sold in little shops which draw their customer base from the modern-day working rich and cuisine cognoscenti. Branch locations of major chains cater to tourists and soccer moms in all five boroughs. Nearly every NYC tourist attraction has its vendors of cheap, paper-wrapped ice cream bars and popsicles, and most small grocery stores have a freezer case full of these modern-day variations of the merchandise of the hokey-pokey man. The vendor of ices hasn’t completely gone away either, though he is now more likely to be selling his wares in his own shop, or mass-produced and pre-packaged in the supermarkets and delis. Shaved-ice vendors who offer affordable icy treats and stock syrup flavorings appealing to Hispanic tastes push their carts in Spanish Harlem and the Lower East Side. But whatever the future holds for ice cream and related frozen treats, one thing is clear; they'll most likely be field-tested in the streets, shops, and restaurants of New York City.


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