THE DARIEN TIMES



Apr 24, 2008


Gofer Ice Cream returns to town

Gofer Ice Cream, a local ice cream chain known for its red, white and blue cartoon logo of a gopher enjoying an ice cream cone, will celebrate its return to Darien on Saturday, May 3.

Currently located in Stamford and Greenwich, where the first store debuted five years ago, Gofer Ice Cream will open at 1020 Boston Post Road, the site of the original store in Darien. A grand reopening and ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 11 on May 3.

Gofer Ice Cream originally opened in Darien in 2004 at the same Boston Post Road location, which is undergoing a major renovation to a mixed-use development that will include several new retail stores, restaurants, and office space with parking in the rear of the building.

The Gofer Ice Cream store in Darien will have a refined interior design and seating inside and outdoors on the new Gofer plaza.

The new store will offer the current products sold throughout the Gofer Ice Cream chain, plus the new Gofer Chocolate Bar featuring gourmet loose and boxed chocolates from around the world. In addition to this, in response to local demand for authentic Italian ice, Gofer will be adding “Gofer Ice” in a variety of flavors.

Gofer Founder and President Jay Ragusa looks forward to returning to Darien where his store was warmly received by the community during the three seasons the store was there.

“Darien is the ideal place to debut our new premiere store,” Ragusa said. “Because we already established a presence in the community and a reputation for quality ice cream and service, we look forward to being well received again.”

The highly anticipated reopening of Gofer Ice Cream at 1020 Post Road promises to contribute to the vibrancy of downtown Darien,” said Debbie Parnon, executive director of Darien Revitalization Inc. “We are excited about the impact Gofer will have downtown. Jay identified a niche market and responded by expanding his original menu of delicious ice cream to include a new chocolate bar and Gofer Italian Ice. This is the kind of creative thinking we are looking to our merchants to engage in. Variety of merchandise and quality of goods and services offered by downtown merchants will encourage more foot traffic. Gofer has the added bonus of offering their customers an outdoor eating venue.”

“The Gofer Ice Cream concept is a local entrepreneurial venture. The idea was first conceived in 1998 by Ragusa, a Stamford native, while earning his master’s degree at Fordham University Graduate School of Business. Following eight years on Wall Street, in 2003, Ragusa put his Gofer Ice Cream concept into action, launching the first store in Greenwich in the Indian Field Shopping Center. Customer reaction was so positive that he opened two more stores in Darien at the Post Road location and Stamford in the Willard Shopping Center on High Ridge Road, serving the neighborhoods of northern Stamford.

In 2006, Gofer Ice Cream was named Best Ice Cream Shop in “The Best of The Gold Coast,” a people’s choice award encompassing Fairfield County.

Today, in addition to Darien, Gofer Ice Cream stores are located at 522 East Putnam Ave., in Greenwich and 869 High Ridge Road in Stamford.

Gofer currently offers a variety of items that focus on hard and soft serve ice creams, fat-free options like smoothies and Gofer Lite, and a range of related ice cream products, such as sundaes, shakes, malts, floats, cakes and pies.

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