Located just outside NYC in Mount Vernon, New York, The Ice Cream Factory has been serving up Jamaican ice cream flavors like rum raisin and soursop for three decades in the hometown of Heavy D and Sean “Puffy” Combs. Founded in 1954 as a Carvel franchise, the shop was re-developed and re-branded 30 years later as The Ice Cream Factory and began serving the tastes and palettes of the increasingly Caribbean community. “I kept hiring Caribbean people, and they gave me the ideas for flavors,” recalls owner Rudy Guerrino, whose Italian-American father and uncle founded the original shop. “We started with grape nut cereal which was and still is the most popular. Then we went to rum raisin, Guinness stout and soursop. I just kept my ears open and my mouth shut. They would tell me what ingredients to use.”
Today, The Ice Cream Factory has a massive selection of nearly 60 flavors that includes staples (chocolate, vanilla, pistachio), all of the usual tropical/Jamaican flavors (Grapenutt, Irish Moss, Stout) and unique hybrids like Sugar Free Pistachio with Grapenutt, Soy Milk Rum Raisin Grapenutt. Presumably, the extra ‘T’ in “Grapentutt” stands for tasty–The Ice Cream Factory’s version is among the most flavorful we’ve had. The shop is also home to a fresh juice bar which also serves smoothies, and nine different flavors of Jamaican-style moss drinks.
FLAVORS: Too many to name. A few favorites include: Egg nog, rum raisin, Irish moss, Grape Nutt, stout, soursop, coconut, mango and Jamaican rum cake. The Ice Cream Factory also serves sugar-free flavors such as Sugar Free Pistachio with Grapenutt, and a half-dozen vegan ice creams made with soy milk, including rum raisin and Grape Nutt.