South Buffalo-based development company Hook & Ladder, a force for revitalization on Seneca Street, has been mostly hands-off in regard to retail operations inside its buildings.
Cookies and Cream, a new neighborhood ice cream parlor planned for 2114 Seneca St., will change that, as Hook & Ladder owners Pete Scarcello, John Otto and Gino Gatti will help run the roughly 1,000-square-foot, family-friendly parlor. It is scheduled to open in the spring.
"There's not really anywhere in South Buffalo where you can sit down and have ice cream," Scarcello responded when asked what prompted Cookies and Cream, which will stay open year-round.
The shop will serve primarily hard ice cream, from Maine-based Gifford's, as well as one soft-serve custard option and an array of milkshakes. Here's a list of Gifford's wholesale flavors from the company website.
A distinguishing trait for Hook & Ladder's endeavor is pairing ice cream with fresh cookies, including traditional Italian cookies, which creates exponentially more ordering combinations.
The cookies can be blended into milkshakes, laid atop ice cream or eaten separately; it's up to the customer, Scarcello said.
"We always intended a cookie flair with the shop," he said. "They went well together [with ice cream], and it allows us to align with local bakeries."
Hot chocolate will be featured during the colder months, and cannoli will be one of the foods available.
The ice cream shop will occupy the lower left unit of the building, with ample indoor and outdoor seating, as well as space for birthday parties or special events. An alleyway to the north of the building will by accentuated by bistro tables and seasonal service windows, with a garden area that adds more seating plus a play area for kids.
"We wanted to make the space comfortable for everyone – families, adults, kids," Scarcello said.