For five months, Brendan Fleming served ice cream through car windows. Now, his ice cream parlor is open for walk-up business.
Mickey’s Ice Cream Kitchen opened at 370 Lake Ave. in St. James last month. Prior to that, Fleming, fellow owner Joseph Militello and their staff were limited to serving pints — four at a time for the price of three, through curbside pickup.
They started in August with a wide variety of seasonal flavors. In the fall, they added pumpkin spice ice cream.
They opened their shop in time for wintery treats.
“We just finished with peppermint bark which was a huge success,” Fleming, 48, of St. James, said. “Right now, we have a coconut caramel chip that’s phenomenal. It’s like an Almond Joy. And I would say cannoli chip is a pretty big staple right now for us.”
Mickey’s, named in honor of Fleming’s grandfather, Mickey Fleming, who moved to St. James in 1952 with his wife, Kathleen, and their six children, is also offering a frozen hot chocolate flavor for the winter season.
“We’ll do that every month,” Fleming said. “We’ll always get new flavors in.”
Each of the shop’s flavors are ready to go as pints, and can be served in cones, shakes, and sundaes with all the fixings.
Parties, fundraisers and summer fun
Fleming said family trips upstate and frequent pit stops at Bellvale Farms Creamery in Warwick inspired his and Militello’s venture. The lifelong friends have eyed various real estate opportunities and decided the Lake Avenue storefront that had undergone many changes and vacancies over the years would make an ideal sweet shop.
“St. James is a great town, a lot of lifers,” Fleming said. “You have a lot of quarter-acre lots in there that a lot of families grow up in and grow out of, and then new ones come in. We just felt it was a great spot to have families walk up to town to get some pizza, go to a restaurant and come in and get some ice cream.”
In 2022, Fleming said he and Militello want to focus on hosting children’s birthday parties. He also plans on coordinating events with school PTAs and spring youth sports programs, getting involved with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and hosting fundraisers for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and local charities.
Of course, summertime is prime time for ice cream, and Fleming said he is excited for fun under the sun — or rather the shop’s shaded porch.
“We really want to see how exciting the summer is with the outside patio, doing events outside with some acoustic music,” he said.