LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) –There may not be lake effect snow on the 4 Warn Doppler Radar today, but Lake Effect is definitely on the minds of many. That’s because the local ice cream business is expanding.
Cuddled up along the historic Erie Canal, is Lake Effect Ice Cream. It’s a destination for many in the summer months, but owners Erik Bernardi and Jason Wulf didn’t always know that selling ice cream was their goal.Both have been lifelong friends, are neighbors, and work together for the Lockport City School District. Bernardi shared with News 4,”At the time, we were actually having a dual going back and forth between our kitchens. Making ice cream and passing it back and forth to each other. Eventually the amount of ice cream that we were making exceeded what we could eat.”
The excess would get passed around to neighbors and it became a hit. So much so, that they started selling at local festivals and eventually opened their first brick and mortar scoop shop. They came up with the name Lake Effect Ice Cream after tossing around a few sketches and ideas. Wulf shared, “When we hit Lake Effect Ice Cream it was just perfect. It fit and then we had the discussion, well does everyone know what lake effect is, and in our area, everyone knows what lake effect is.”
The building they are in now has been their main hub since 2013, but a new scoop shop will open up on Hertel Avenue near Main Street. Bernardi said, “We can get closer to people and instead of them having that 30 or 40 minute ride, now it’s a 15 minute ride. And the people who would make it an event to drive 45 minutes for an ice cream sundae once every 3 weeks, now they might be able to visit us a little more often.”
There will be some competition on Hertel Avenue but this shop is different because of its unique flavors and sundaes. Wulf was proud to share this with News 4,”We make everything ourselves. So when you go in a traditional ice cream shop you see the same thing again and again. But our thing is, our ice creams are all local, and we make them all ourselves.”
They’ve created everything from chicken and waffle flavored ice cream to the more traditional chocolate, vanilla, and sherbets, all with names that have a twist. The same favorite flavors from the Lockport store will be available, but there may be some new tastes too. Wulf said, “We want the flavors that are here at the shop on Hertel, but we’re not averse to saying is there something that is appropriate to Hertel that’s a flavor for there.”
In addition to a potential exclusive new flavor, the new shop will offer more outdoor seating. So when Mother Nature doesn’t deliver lake effect, some won’t be too far away.