The Work We Do: Choudry Ali, Magic Fountain

My name is Choudry Ali and I own Magic Fountain. We bought this place in 2007.

I used to work in corporate America. I couldn’t handle it. I wanted to work with my hands. I left that job, worked as a custodian in one of the school districts for a little while until I found this place. Actually, my wife found this place. She grew up in Mattituck.

I kind of started with the basics, what was given to me. It was very basic: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry.

I started thinking about how I can make it creative and how can we change things and started talking to local farmers.

Now, we make all our own flavors. People love us for that.

All the recipes are actually created right here by me or some of them actually my employees are very helpful. They help me because they have their own taste buds, and they come up with the ideas. So everything you see out there … right now we have close to 300 recipes that we made and we carry about 50 flavors.

There’s always prepping the night before. In the summertime, there are college kids who want to make extra money who will stay overnight and prep everything for me. This place is actually open 24/7. The doors may be closed, but there are still people working.

And then the next morning when I walk in, six, seven o’clock in the morning, it’s always knowing what needs to be made. When we pour stuff into the machine, it’s about 20 minutes to make the flavor.

As you’re taking it out of the machine, there’s some stuff that we have to hand mix.

And then it has to sit in a minus 25 freezer for at least 14 to 16 hours.

I always wanted to own my own business, and this gave me the opportunity to have that.

I actually enjoy doing this, so to me, I’m coming here to play. Play with new flavors. Play with whatever I’ve got to create. To me, it’s not work.

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.