About GoferGofer Ice Cream provides the finest quality premium ice cream, conveniently located throughout Fairfield County, Connecticut. We offer both Premium soft-serve and hand dipped Super Premium hard ice cream.
In addition, we offer these tasty treats, Razzles, Milkshakes, Ice Cream Floats, Ice Cream Cakes, Gofer Bites, Sundaes and more!
We also feature, Flavor Twist and Flavor Fusion – both revolutionary flavor innovations, making your soft-serve burst with flavor!To top it off, enjoy your ice cream in a homemade waffle cone or any of our popular specialty cones and choose from over a dozen select toppings.
Our MissionGofer Ice Cream is truly premium ice cream, made in small batches from the finest of ingredients sourced, locally, across the United States, and the world.
We hope you will enjoy our products and show your support as a customer as often as you feel the need to treat yourself. We believe when you Go-for ice cream it should be worth the trip and you should leave happier than when you arrived!
Proudly serving Fairfield County community since 2003, with the original launch of Gofer Ice Cream located in Greenwich, Connecticut. We sincerely thank you for your continued support. We hope to serve you for many generations to come.
Our HistoryGofer Ice Cream was founded in Greenwich, Connecticut in the Spring of 2003. The idea was the brainchild of Jay Ragusa, who first thought of the name and concept five years earlier. Following an eight year career on Wall Street, working as an analyst in the institutional investment management division of UBS in New York City, Jay transitioned to entrepreneur mode. He dusted off the business plan he had done while earning an MBA from Fordham University Graduate School of Business. This business plan became the basis for the plan actually implemented between 2002 and 2003 and the launch of the Greenwich shop.
“Our concept is to serve the highest quality ice cream products with a variety of choices, in a clean, friendly, quick serve environment” says Ragusa.
The shops offer hard ice cream, soft serve, fat free treats like “Gofer Lite”. In addition, fat free yogurt, smoothies, as well as Italian ice & sorbets, blended ice coffee and ice cream cakes. After the initial success of the Greenwich shop, the plan was to successfully replicated in nearby Stamford, and Darien. Over the years Gofer has been a multi time award winner for “Best Ice Cream Shop” in Moffly Publicationʼs “Best of the Gold Coast”, a peoples choice award for all of Fairfield County Connecticut.
The company plans to continue to grow organically and through franchised locations throughout the area in the coming years.
…..Entrepreneurship is blossoming in Fairfield County, whether due to corporate downsizings, high-profile tech billionaires or the growing awareness of capital-raising vehicles like Kickstarter and Shark Tank. Entrepreneurs, who bring a new product or service to the market, can create jobs and reignite a faltering economy. While mom-and-pop stores are small business mainstays, a fast-growing segment is the young technology developer.
Small business growth
U.S. Census Bureau data on Fairfield County’s non-employer businesses, the smallest in which only the owner works, showed modest growth to 85,962 in 2011 from pre-recession 2007’s 83,230. In contrast, CareerBuilder in February said the U.S. self-employed slumped 936,000 to 10 million in 2013 from a 2006 peak. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk self-employment grew 3 percent since 2009, trailing only Memphis’ 4 percent growth in U.S. metropolitan regions CareerBuilder reviewed. Fairfield County has the sixth largest U.S. share of self-employed at 9.2 percent of the metropolitan statistical areas surveyed. Most U.S. self-employed job growth for 2006-2013 was in web development, medical transcription, home health care and recreation. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. self-employed is male and more than 30 percent are aged 55+.
Connecticut’s small businesses, defined as having fewer than 500 employees, grew to an estimated 339,200 for 2014 from 326,439 in 2010. The Connecticut SBA said small businesses represent 97.1 percent of all employers and employ 49.7 percent of the private-sector labor force.
Small businesses have flourished with the emergence of college entrepreneur programs and kids witnessing corporate downsizings.
“The economic pathway is a less certain notion for a college graduate catching onto a great company and riding the wave of tenure for 30, 35 or 40 years. Now, that’s the exception rather than the rule and there is a higher value put on creativity and innovation, whether a student starts or works at a company,” said Christopher Levesque, executive director of the University of Connecticut‘s Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in East Hartford.
From Wall Street to Main Street
Stamford resident Jay Ragusa “traded my suit and tie for ice cream” after eight years on Wall Street and the post-9/11 market slump. A decade ago, Ragusa, 42, opened Gofer Ice Cream in Greenwich and then Gofer shops in Stamford, Darien, Fairfield and Bridgeport. He shut the Fairfield Gofer as competition heated up and Bridgeport’s Gofer as the area’s revitalization stalled.
The closings gave the valuable lesson that “just because you’re successful in one place, doesn’t mean you’ll be successful moving into another place. Timing also matters.” Ragusa will employ 25-28 after a second Greenwich Gofer opens this month.
Small business experts report heightened interest from entrepreneurs and resources have mushroomed including innovation centers in Bridgeport, Stamford and Danbury to bring people together to create and collaborate on projects.
“Last year we had over 400 individual counseling sessions in the communities we serve, a 20 percent increase from 2012-2013 and we expect a 10 to 20 percent increase this year,” said Dennis Daugherty, chairman of Western Connecticut SCORE of Danbury, a non-profit that provides business counseling. “It’s a broad group seeking help — young, middle-aged and older people. Corporate restructuring is triggering a lot of the middle-aged to older clients.”
Daugherty said small businesses in Fairfield County benefit from “an active, vital market for goods and services and it’s densely populated with lots of young, creative, bright people. But you’ve also seen job loss in Fairfield County and there’s also the regulatory overlay … that might discourage some people.”
Bernie Sweeney, district director of SBA Connecticut in Hartford, is so optimistic about Fairfield County that SBA opened a Bridgeport office in October.
Shortage of women entrepreneurs
But a lagging demographic is women. While U.S. women-owned businesses climbed 68 percent since 1997, Connecticut’s grew a more modest 33.2 percent to 96,400, said Julie Weeks, CEO of Empire, Mich.-based Womenable, which supports women entrepreneurs. She cited possible causes as Connecticut’s more stable population for less potential customer growth, state procurement goals supporting women, tax rates and active women’s business associations.
Sweeney said, “You never feel you can do enough for women and minorities who might not have traditional backgrounds in credit and verification of credit.”
Some 40 percent of SBA-guaranteed loan activity is for female-owned businesses, Sweeney said. Last year, Connecticut SBA supported 601 small businesses and $226 million in loans, ranking Connecticut second in the region for SBA lending.
He noted younger entrepreneurs are a fast-growing segment of small business owners. “My guess is 25 percent of what SBDC (UConn-Small Business Development Centers) is doing now — high-tech start-up companies with one to two people — will need financing.”
Weeks said young entrepreneurs were inspired by “the visibility of (Facebook co-founder) Mark Zuckerberg and (Google co-founder) Sergey Brin starting businesses young.”
There are other benefits for some small business owners. Gofer’s Ragusa said, “I try to personally sample many ice creams each week for `quality control.’ ”
Betty Wong (email@example.com) is a freelance writer and media consultant in Greenwich. After spending five years as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal at the start of her career, she spent the next two decades at Reuters News, where her last role in 2011 was global managing editor.
Full article here: Stamford Advocate
There are not many people who don’t count ice cream as one of their all-time favorite desserts.
When it’s made with high-
quality dairy products, it’s one of the few sweet confections which is actually good for you. As a protein and calcium source, ice cream is a healthy alternative guaranteed to satisfy one’s cravings for sweetness.
Recently opened in downtown Fairfield’s Brickwalk, Gofer Ice Cream and Smoothies offers two special frozen treats which are rich and delicious, and also low in calories. These are the Smarter Smoothie — a red tea infused with real fruit — and Gofer Light, which is ice cream that boasts of only having 15 calories per ounce. Both items are available in various sizes.
“We think our health-conscious consumers in Fairfield are going to enjoy sampling these two products,” said Justin A. Ragusa, director of marketing for Gofer Ice Cream.
He explained that his company’s research indicated a shift in consumers’ eating patterns and a marked increase in a desire to purchase healthier foods.
“People want to enjoy good taste in ice cream but they have become much more aware of their overall health, too.” he said.
Gofer Ice Cream has been recognized by Connecticut Magazine for the last three years as “Best Ice Cream Shop” in its “Best of the Gold Coast” annual awards.
The family-owned and operated business was started by Justin’s brother, Jay, in 2003.
“Jay originated the business eight years ago and brought the rest of the family in,” Justin explained. Family members involved in the thriving enterprise are parents, John and Joyce Ragusa, and their third son, Jeff.
Justin cited one of the benefits of working directly with family members as the fact that “they are dependable.”
“You spend a lot of time talking to each other,” he said, somewhat wryly.
The downtown Fairfield site marks Gofer Ice Cream’s fourth store in Fairfield County. There are also locations in Greenwich, Darien and Stamford. Justin noted that a fifth store is scheduled to open soon in downtown Bridgeport.
Since its debut in Fairfield about a month ago, Justin said the community has “embraced” the town’s new ice cream parlor. “We’ve gotten really positive responses so far,” he said.
The company’s somewhat unusual name was created by Jay and based on the company’s slogan, “It’s always a good day to… Gofer Ice Cream.” And, of course, an image of a `gopher’ holding an ice cream cone is used to further convey this message.
Describing Jay as “a former finance guy on Wall Street who hung up his suit and tie to work in the ice cream business,” Justin credits his brother with not only coming up with Gofer Ice Cream’s initial business plan, but also for creating its scrumptious homemade ice cream recipes.
“My personal favorite is called Cherry Sensation,” Justin said.
Using a vanilla base, cherries, chocolate fudge and “something crunchy” are mixed together to create this mouth-watering sensation.
“People also seem to like popular flavors such as the vanillas and mint chocolate chip,” he continued.
However, Gofer Ice Cream also features more unusual flavors such as cotton candy, “Gofer tracks” — comprised of Heath Bar candy, brownie, caramel and praline — and toasted almond.
Using premium products, most of the homemade hard ice cream is made on-site. Soft serve selections of chocolate, vanilla and a mix of both are also available for purchase. In addition, Gofer Ice Cream offers fat-free yogurt smoothies, Italian ices, blended ice coffee and ice cream cakes and pies. Choices of cones — including homemade waffle and chocolate chip cones — and a wide variety of toppings make it a thoroughly exhilarating ice cream experience.
There is seating available inside and outside of the store. The family has also recently made franchise opportunities available to others who want to venture into the ice cream business.
“We are a local, home-grown operation,” Justin noted. “We’re expanding regionally and working our way up the east coast, but we invented the Gofer Ice Cream brand.”