The owners of Downtown Riverhead’s newest ice cream shop are also familiar with the other end of the temperature scale.
“We’re both city firemen,” said Ivan Albert, co-owner of Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices along with Frank LoPresti. “We work in lower Manhattan and we’ve both got about 16 years on the job.”
Their newest ice cream store in Riverhead opened at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and got off to a good start, Mr. Albert said Thursday afternoon.
“Last night we had a line out the door here, and it was all families from Riverhead,” he said. “It was just a nice atmosphere.”
They also own Ralph’s franchises in Greenport, which they opened about four years ago, and in Port Jefferson. The Riverhead store opened in the former auto parts building just east of McDermott Avenue.
Mr. Albert said they came to Riverhead because they knew the town was looking for businesses where customers “could walk around and go down by the water and enjoy what Riverhead has. And this is something for families, where you can go downtown, not on Route 58, where you have all the hustle and bustle of all the cars.”
Mr. Alpert says they plan to stay open late, possibly until midnight. He said he had spoken to owners of other franchise stores in Riverhead and all of them were among the top performing stores in their chains.
Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter stopped in the shop Thursday.
“It looks fantastic,” he told Mr. Albert and Mr. LoPresti. “Anything we can do to help you, I know we’re going to try.”
Ralph’s sells ice cream, shakes, sodes, creme ice, water ice, and frozen yogurt, among other things.