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Queens Chronicle

In tough economy, a scoop of optimism

Residents praise new Ozone Park sweet shop in area that needs one

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Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 1:00 pm, Thu Mar 15, 2012.

Scoops Ice Cream store in Ozone Park flung open its doors last Saturday, ushering in numerous South Queens residents who said they were excited to no longer have to look far to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Scoops is a venture of Debra and Frank Iqbal and Benny Patti, who believed there was a need for a sweet shop in the area.

The store at 137-20 Crossbay Blvd., the site of the former Sylvan Learning Center, is located between the Crossbay Express Laundromat and the Crossbay Dairy Mill, also owned by the Iqbals and Patti.

Scoops features not only yogurt, ice cream, shakes and smoothies, but also pastries, crepes, salads, snacks, coffees, teas, cakes and other specialties.

“I think that it’s going to be really nice for the community, for the children,” Debra Iqbal said, adding that it has been a long time since there was an ice cream store in the neighborhood.

“The customers are excited to come here,” she said.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. (D-Ozone Park), who attended the opening and professed that he loves the Scoops “cookies and cream” yogurt, said he believes that the opening of the sweets store fills a void in the community.

“We certainly don’t have a store of this type in the area,” said Addabbo.

“An opening of any small business in this tough economy is welcome because it does provide a certain amount of jobs and it contributes to the local economy, and we’re thankful,” Addabbo continued.

While the economy hasn’t been kind to store owners in Queens, Iqbal said she doesn’t believe that the tough business climate will affect her shop since sweets are beloved by so many —something agreed upon by the customers who streamed into the store soon after it opened.

Many customers stayed in the shop to munch on treats, including Justyce Quinn, 7, and her mother, Daniela, of Ozone Park.

Justyce had the cake batter ice cream with M&Ms and marshmallows on top, while her mom had a crepe topped with vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

Kash Martinez, 3, ate his vanilla ice cream as he sat on a stool and looked out a window at the cars passing by on Crossbay Boulevard.

Taking a break from his Animal Pantry store next door, owner Bart Scibilia popped in to pick up a chocolate chip cupcake.

The Reyes family of Howard Beach — Lauren, Joshua, Angel and Alexandria — took time out from their busy day to sit around a table and enjoy their ice cream.

Scoops prices range from $2.59 for a classic cupcake to $6.19 for a banana split, and the shop is open from 10 a.m. to midnight every day.

Although Addabbo's youngsters, Alexis and Arianna, were unable to join their lawmaker dad at the 11 a.m. grand opening due to their karate class at the same time, the senator said he would bring them to Scoops later in the day.

“They are going to love it there,” Addabbo said.

“It’s a kid’s heaven,” he said, smiling.

Welcome to the discussion.