KIRKLAND — While many local neighbors are awaiting a time when warmer temperatures will remind them to take trips to their local ice cream shop for their favorite frozen treats, the Bonomo’s have been hard at work during the off season.
It’s been more than 30 years since the last renovations were made at Bonomo’s Dari Creme, but the 7589 Route 5 store is now expanding, owners say.
At the facade of their business, passing motorists may catch a glimpse of yellow tape cordoning off the new 275 square-foot section. The addition has already been constructed on the west side of the building, and now the interior electrical work is underway.
The addition will be home to a couple freezers, as well as retail display freezers and coolers to accommodate the Bonomos’ growing ice cream pie and cake business, said co-owner Nick Bonomo, son of and nephew of owners Vinnie and Guy Bonomo.
In addition to Vinnie’s creations, the Bonomos also plan to sell Guy’s homemade Italian ice and ice cream by the pints and gallons for those wishing to bring their favorite treats home or serve them up for a birthday party or other special get-together. And times when customers came to request a certain flavor of Italian ice, but it wasn’t available — those days may be over.
“There’ll be pies and cakes, and Guy does all the homemade Italian ice and ice cream, and all those flavors and more — people will be able to come get them all the time now,” Nick said. “My dad does amazing cakes, too, and not too many customers know about them yet.”
A renown treat that has grown in popularity is Guy’s Arctic Ice Caps — homemade vanilla ice cream topped with different flavors of Italian ice, like watermelon, pear, mango, lemon, cherry and blue raspberry. Nick said those will also be available at Bonomo’s “to-go” freezer section.
“There’s a woman who will often stay at The Inn at Turning Stone” in Verona, “and she’ll come down to the shop and order pints of Italian ice and bring them back for the staff at the inn,” Nick shared about the popularity of Bonomo’s Italian Ice. “She takes plenty of spoons with her and makes sure she takes care of her people.”
Besides a wide variety of different ice cream flavors and to-order frozen treats, like Puppy Pops, Nick said he also hopes the new space will serve as a place to offer Bonomo’s famous sauces, toppings and sprinkles, including jars of their famous Boom Boom sauce from dad Vinnie’s popular Boom Boom Burger.
“We’re going to be doing more of what we’re doing now — we’re just doing more with cross-merchandising,” Nick said. “And we couldn’t be doing this without all our customers’ support.”
And making sure their investment stays local, the Bonomos have hired area contractors to build the addition.
“Our contractor is from Remsen, but originally from Clinton, the electrician is local…,” said Nick, adding that supplies have also been purchased from Jay-K Lumber in New Hartford. “We want to support the people who help support us.”
Nick said he was about a month away from being born back in 1986 the last time Bonomo’s on Route 5 saw any renovations work. Now customers will be able to call in orders and requests, and then they can come pick them up at the to-go freezer section window.
With the new addition, Nick said the Bonomos are hoping to extend their season this year. The ice cream shop is hoping to open by the first or second week of March, weather depending.
During the warmer months, Nick said his cousin, who works professionally as a graphic designer, is going to paint a mural on the back cement wall of the business that leads to the storage garage.
“We figured it would be a cute place where kids and families can go take selfies during their visit and then post them on our Facebook page,” he said. “I told my cousin instead of a huge handful of balloons, maybe she can paint ice cream cones floating in the sky — I gave her some ideas, but I said, ‘Your the artist, so I’ll leave it up to you.’”
Bonomo’s Dari Creme continues to get a supportive following on Facebook. Nick said traffic to the business’ social media page after posting photos of the addition skyrocketed, even more so than the contest they held during the holiday season to win a free gift card.
As for updates on construction and when Bonomo’s will be open for the season, “Stay tuned to our social media for updates,” he said.