Popular New York City artisanal ice cream seller A La Mode Shoppe, which is getting set to open a new location at 35 Newtown Lane between Main Street and Park Place in the Village of East Hampton this spring, comes to town with a fascinating story behind the successful business. The Hamptons shop will mark the company’s first brick-and-mortar expansion since A La Mode Shoppe found meteoric success through its original Manhattan flagship and their commitment to “allergy-free ice cream” in NYC’s Midtown East neighborhood seven years ago.
The new store will operate out of 910 square feet of retail space in the former location of Scoop Du Jour, which closed in 2020. This second location is expected to be ready as early as April, just in time for summer in the Hamptons.
A La Mode Shoppe specializes in handcrafted, small-batch premium ice cream prepared in a facility where there is no chance of products coming in contact with nuts, eggs or sesame seeds. While keeping allergy restrictions at the forefront, the ice cream maker says it “does not compromise on taste and comes in a variety of fun flavors,” along with gluten-free and dairy-free options.
Cofounders Marc and Sandy Roth could not have predicted how hot their small ice cream brand would get when they decided to step away from their previous careers and open A La Mode Shoppe right across from their home on Sutton Place in NYC. “She had this idea of opening up an ice cream shop,” Roth says, recalling how his wife Sandy first suggested creating what would eventually become the official ice cream of LEGOLAND New York, Madison Square Garden, Nassau Coliseum and numerous other stadiums, schools, universities, camps and organizations. “It was a completely new world for me,” he continues, pointing out that his background was in the restaurant business while Sandy worked in children’s clothes.
“At A La Mode, we pride ourselves on being all-inclusive and mindful of the growing number of people who have allergies today,” Sandy says, describing what sets A La Mode Shoppe apart and what made them a viral sensation just one month after they opened. “Our goal is to provide children and adults with the delicious, joyful and safe experience of sharing ice cream together.”
As her husband explains it, a father of a child with a nut allergy shared a photo of their sign (and its allergen-free promise) online, and suddenly A La Mode Shoppe was packed with parents and their kids with allergies who were getting to taste ice cream for the very first time without fear of terrible consequences.
It turns out A La Mode Shoppe — “the 100% no-nuts ice cream” — was the first ice cream company of its kind, and there was a huge market for what they were selling. “A year after we were open, we had no choice but to build from the ground up a manufacturing facility,” Roth says of their Bronx factory where nuts and other ingredients with allergens have never entered the premises, and never will. This unique angle helped get their ice cream into 2,000 retail stores nationwide and set the stage for a well-considered expansion plan that begins right here in East Hampton and will continue with franchise opportunities.
“The allergy community has been amazing and helped us get where we are,” Roth says. Of course, it didn’t hurt that they created a delicious, high-quality product that has never tasted like a poor substitute. “It’s super premium ice cream,” he says, noting that the shop’s standard offerings are 16% butterfat and every single flavor is allergen-free.
In East Hampton, A La Mode Shoppe will consistently offer at least 20 flavors, eight of which will always be dairy-free, as well as soft serve and, if all goes according to plan, premium local coffee.
“This is a perfect location for our first venture outside of New York City,” Sandy Roth says of East Hampton. And, like the NYC store, she’s including an infant and children’s apparel boutique, which will carry clothing, toys and unique gifts.
Marc Roth says they will also hold events and parties for kids and families, and they’ll have an ice cream truck, ice cream carts and catering available for off-site gatherings. New to the Hamptons, the couple have rented a home locally for the year and they’re making an effort to become part of the community as the business grows.
Learn more about A La Mode Shoppe at alamodeshoppe.com.