Ralph’s famous Italian ice cream lacks flavor
The folks behind the counter at Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices & Ice Cream must be pretty tough these days. In May, a Farmingdale employee hunted down a potential thief. Now they’re dealing with the arc of emotions that can erupt when people can’t get a cup of peanut butter caramel or one of the dozens of other flavors that have run out over the past month.
“Honestly, more adults cry than children,” said Scott Rosenberg, who runs eight Ralph’s in the tri-state area. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I’ve never seen it like this. A lady couldn’t get her cherry jubilee, and she wasn’t a happy girl.”
At Ralph’s on Long Island, a third or more of certain flavors are unavailable – sometimes menu boards covered in desperate duct tape bars – in a ripple effect involving labor shortages and interruptions in the market. supply side that hit Ralphs’ production facility in New Jersey, Rosenberg said.
“They don’t have enough staff to run the machines and make the ice cream,” Rosenberg said, so the company is focusing on its more popular flavors, such as watermelon or lemon-lime. Others, especially sherbets, took a temporary hiatus, with flavors like rainbow cookies and mint cookie crumbs on the count.
Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices was founded by Italian immigrant Ralph Silvestro in Staten Island in the 1940s, and Silvestro’s grandsons began distributing beyond Long Island in the mid-1980s. Franchises grew quickly. spread to Long Island, where there are now dozens of them, and Ralph’s ice cream is considered a quintessential Long Island experience. Ralph’s corporate headquarters could not be reached for comment.
Rosenberg said that up to 40 flavors were missing from his stores in Commack, Deer Park and elsewhere, where there are normally around 110 flavors. At first, he didn’t strike them off the board “because I hoped they would. would come back “. And some to have last week, he added, flavors such as red raspberry, cola and root beer. The bad weather may have allowed reinforcements, he theorized. “With the rain [last week], we were a little slower. “