A new chain of ice cream parlors opens in New York this month, offering Americans a taste of Israel’s most popular ice cream treats.
Grom, Pinkberry, and Haagen Dazs might see shorter lines this summer: A new ice-cream company from Israel is heading to New York City. Based on the company’s success in Israel, the three new franchises opening this year, with the first in June, is bound to give yoghurt stands and traditional ice cream companies a run for their money.
Guilt-free gelatos which taste rich but only have about five percent fat, and fresh ingredients mixed onsite make the Israeli ice creamery Screme, scream for attention. Known in Israel as Aldo, where it was established about a decade ago, the recipe for Screme comes to Israel by way of Italy, after Aldo Deconsilio, now 73, moved to Israel and opened his first shop on Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv.
Around 10 years ago, Israeli entrepreneur Meir Dahan bought the recipe from Aldo and started expanding rapidly. He now has 50 franchises in Israel. If successful, Screme will open many more franchises across America and Canada too.
With a School of Ice Cream outside of Tel Aviv, Dahan, who is the company’s CEO and president, hopes business in America will be booming. Among all his Israeli franchises, the store in Jerusalem frequented by American tourists, is the most successful one yet.
And because his gelato or Italian style ice cream is considerably less fatty than Ben & Jerry’s, Haagan Dazs and Baskin Robbins, it will give US waistlines something to be happy about too. Each scoop weighs in at about 200 calories.
Less fat, all pure
“The trend today is for a healthy product. We use only fresh products which are pure and natural. We add no chemicals and powders in our recipe. Our sorbet is 50% fresh fruit. And the milky ones are made from fresh milk, fresh cream and additional raw materials like pistachios. All pure,” Dahan tells ISRAEL21c.
The big secret to the company’s smooth and rich taste is mixing the ice cream on site every morning before the shop opens, like a bakery does. It might be harder to produce the Screme ice cream, but it’s that extra effort that has made its business a brand name in Israel.
“We have to pasteurize the milk with the cream. We bring it up to 86 degrees, then we add the stabilizer and sugar and cool it quickly. All this process takes time and you have to be aware when to add each raw material. It makes it more complicated but gives the best results,” says Dahan.
In New York, Screme will start selling its 10 basic flavors chocolate, mango and some seasonal favors. Individual stores will be able to add flavors suited to local tastes.
The first location, which opens this month, is on New York’s Upper West Side, at Broadway and West 70th Street. Two more locations one on Eighth Avenue downtown, and a third on the Upper East Side will be up next.
Screme to expand quickly
Screme plans on opening between five to 10 more stores within the next year.
“Our company started about 10 years ago. We are about to open 10 more stores this year in Israel and will keep going. We also supply ice cream to several chains like Aroma coffee, Cinema City for VIP moviegoers, and to a chain called Yellow,” says Dahan.
“We know that Israel is a small country. We can’t expand our chain to unlimited numbers. That’s why we are expanding to the US,” he adds.
In Tel Aviv, Aldo ice cream is elected as the city’s best. Dahan hopes under the Screme name it will be the best ice cream in New York too. “We managed to make fantastic gelato with 5% fat. We produce it every day for the day. When you produce it fresh for the day you can make it so there is less fat, with a smooth creamy taste.”
And for yoghurt addicts and those on special diets, Screme will go beyond gelato ice cream to offer a whole host of frozen treats. Yoghurts, something for diabetics and the lactose intolerant made from soya milk are also on Screme’s menu.
Other Israeli retailer success stories tapping into the New York market include the soap store Sabon, the Aroma Espresso Bar, which has a branch in Soho.