Following months of anticipation and an extensive interior renovation, Gofer Ice Cream is to open Wednesday in the Main Street commercial space formerly occupied by Baskin-Robbins, according to the business’s owner.
For today’s Q&A with a local business, we talk to franchisee Jordan Savitt, who owns the Gofer at 103 Main St. with his wife, Dina.
It will be open 12:30 to 9:30 p.m. seven days per week (12 p.m. on Saturdays).
As we learn from Savitt, customers as per health officials can are not yet allowed inside the ice cream shop, but can get their sweet treats through a safe kiosk at the door, or else phone in an order (203-594-1342) or have it delivered through Uber Eats or GrubHub.
Here’s our interview.
New Canaanite: How are you feeling on the eve of your opening in New Canaan?
Jordan Savitt: It’s exhilarating. It look a lot to finish construction during the quarantine. We were ready to open on April 1st and we were about 90% done with all of the construction on April 1st, but I just did’t feel it was appropriate to open then. I said it’s going to feel right and I will know when to open. We also are very weather-dependent and it’s been kind of cold. It hasn’t been real summery. I am always looking at the seven-day forecast. I do want to be open for Memorial Day. It’s very important that we mark the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day. I reopened in Wilton last Friday and Darien has been open the whole time, and I have to tell you, I am ecstatic how many New Canaan people have been coming in with their ‘New Canaan’ sweatshirts and talking to us about when we will open on Main Street. We’re getting a good vibe in our Darien store, seeing so many New Canaan people coming through the doors.
You’re opening this Gofer Ice Cream amid the COVID-19 public health restrictions. You’ve opened other stores before. How different has this one been?
Very challenging, because traditionally people would come into the store and wait in line and take their ice cream back to sit down, or leave. Now it’s different because one-third [of customers] are coming to the outer door, another third are phone ordering and another third are ordering through GrubHub or Uber Eats. So there is really not that feeling of waiting, that experience of seeing other people in line. It’s kind of a virtual experience. It’s a little more challenging and labor intensive, we’ve got to hire extra staff to deal with the phone ringing all the time. Now a lot of business is the phone ringing. Before it would never ring. Now, with COVID, a lot of people are calling.
What should New Canaan customers know about the safety precautions you all are taking inside?
We are going to follow the Health Department guidelines 100%, which is customers are allowed to enter the store to go to the bathroom only. We will have a menu board on our window and we will keep people socially distanced as we can outside. But no one is allowed in the store in the town of New Canaan. That is decision by the Health Department, so we will have our staff at the door and with masks and gloves and plexiglass in the store for when they are allowed in. And we will have clear markings. People will come to the front door where they’ll give the order. We want everyone wearing masks when they come in [to use the bathroom]. And we are cleaning and sanitizing throughout the day.
What is Gofer known for?
Our most famous item is a Razzle. It’s a soft ice cream with a topping in there made in a Razzle machine. It’s like a milkshake but thick, so it could be vanilla soft serve with Oreo topping, all mixed together. We have M&Ms topping, Snickers, Oreos, peanut butter cups.
What’s your message for the community, for Gofer customers in New Canaan?
Right now, a lot of people are struggling and a lot of people are nervous about what will tomorrow look like, what will one month look like, what will one year look like, and we are trying to concentrate on putting our business up in the town and getting started. We are not looking at this [opening] as a financial decision. We are looking at it more as a decision to be there for the community and give people an outlet and something to do during the summer. It gets them out of the house in a safe way with their family. It makes people feel good, to come in and get ice cream and walk away and you have a treat. Ice cream in a time like this, I think, makes people feel good.