When Celeste Blau wanted to leave behind a marketing career to open an ice cream shop, she got her whole family on-board. Literally.
"We took a family trip to Italy, and we really liked the gelato," Blau says. "It's not weighed down by cream." Her family's daily visits to Italian gelaterias inspired her to go that direction when they landed back home.
Now, at The Sweet Spot in Lakewood, across from Beck Center for the Arts, you might find Blau's mother, Becky, behind the counter serving her daughter's gelato, sorbet and vegan options. Or you might try a flavor with items picked locally by her dad, Jack; brother, Zack; or husband, Patrick Cleary.
Whenever possible, Blau and her family buy from local farms and shops, such as Red Wagon Farm in Columbia Station, Hillson Nut Co. on West 71st Street, Humble Pie Baking Co. in Avon Lake, and Rosby Berry Farm in Brooklyn Heights. Blau sent Zack there for the makings of the raspberry sorbet, and it's been a hit. "The first time, I made it at noon, and it sold out by 7," Blau says.
Although most flavors last longer in the case, most days Blau makes between five and 10 new ones using organic ingredients. The clear beneficiaries of Blau's adventurous taste buds are the customers, who can choose from around 40 flavors daily.
Selections range from simple, including blueberry and apple cider, to daring, such as jalapeno or apple butter cheddar cheese. "It sounds weird, but it tastes kind of like cheesecake," Blau says.
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