Award-winning Ice Cream by Mike in Ridgewood closes after 7 years

·2 min read

After seven years, Ice Cream by Mike, one of North Jersey's best high-quality ice cream shops, has closed.

"We just didn't have enough business," owner Mike Elias said, adding: "I really thought that if I built it, they would come." The shop was in Ridgewood.

Elias, a technology engineer who still holds a job with Dun & Bradstreet, a company that compiles and shares information about businesses around the world, launched his ice cream shop because, he said, he thought it would be fun.

And it was. "Putting a smile on a kid's face is fun," he told The Record.

Fun, but also serious business — and Elias certainly took ice cream making seriously.

Exterior of Ice Cream by Mike, an ice cream shop on East Ridgewood Ave. in Ridgewood.
Exterior of Ice Cream by Mike, an ice cream shop on East Ridgewood Ave. in Ridgewood.

He used top-notch ingredients for his treat, including imported-from-Italy pure pistachio paste, sweet Tahitian vanilla beans and prized Valrhona chocolate from France. Plus fresh-from-the-market New Jersey fruits and vegetables including sweet corn (for late-summer Jersey corn ice cream) and strawberries. Elias also made his own ice cream base, unlike just about any other ice cream shop, and naturally made it with first-rate ingredients such as Goffle Road Poultry Farm eggs.

"I want to make good ice cream," he said.

And he did.

This newspaper, NJ.com and other publications raved about Mike's ice cream, as did Yelpers. "A small family-run authentic spot for delicious unique ice cream in the area," said one. Even kids who couldn't care less about the provenance of the vanilla beans or the original state of the fruits used in their ice cream were fans. On an ice cream food crawl with this writer, they found the ice cream ... awesome.

"I love the strawberry," declared one. "It tastes like strawberries."

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Nevertheless, business was slow. Some of it, Elias said, may have had to do with the parking situation ("It was difficult to find parking") and the fact that without an awning it was difficult to spot the shop.

To get more customers, Elias and his daughter, Dylan, owner of Plated by D, a charcuterie board spot in Lodi, last year began to offer brunch with hopes of drawing in more customers. But Elias said it didn't take off.

Closing the shop is "sad," he said. "It's depressing."

But, he said, he's happy his daughter, who worked beside him for years, is doing so well. "She's killing it," he said.

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Ice Cream by Mike in Ridgewood has closed