Since opened for the season last Friday, it is tough to drive past their Franklin Turnpike location without seeing kids, teens and families on the benches outside snacking on ice cream, frozen yogurt and sundaes.
According to manager Melissa Mohre, Ernie’s opens a different day each March, depending on the weather. “We were afraid of one more cold spell, but it never came. So, we opened a little earlier than usual this year.”
Apparently, it was a good decision. Mohre said the shop “was absolutely packed” this past weekend. “It was like it is during the summer.” This year, she said, the shop will become known for its 32 flavors of soft serve, “which we added to the menu in the middle of last summer,” and for its homemade sundaes. This year, flavors include brownie, chocolate chip cookie, and apple crisp. “We bake them right in the back,” Mohre said. “They are completely homemade, and the community really seems to like that.”
Ernie’s has been in business for three years, according to Matt Tromontozzi, whose father, John, owns the business. “My family owns the property, so when the former gelato shop tenant moved out, we thought, why not try this ourselves?” Matt said. The family also owns and the , both next door to Ernie’s.
Ice cream was a new venture for the Tromontozzi’s. According to Matt, who is a manager and sales associate at Bergen Tire, the family has owned that business for 30 years, and the Chicken and Rib Crib for 20. Ernie’s “just seemed like a great opportunity,” he said. “So far, it’s been working out really well.”
If the patrons outside the shop Monday afternoon were any indication, he’s right. “They love it,” Mohre said of members of the community. “We have become the place to go for homemade ice cream and that summer feeling. And, people really love it.”
Get more information about Ernie’s on its Facebook page.