BY TRONE DOWD
One of the many popular vendors known to bring their special brand of treat to the annual Jamaica Night Market will now be the newest eatery to bring their unique goods to the Jamaica Market, where they will open their first brick and mortar store early next month.
Sam’s Fried Ice Cream, which will be located at 90-04 160th Street, specializes in the seemingly oxymoronic treat. Owned by two brothers, 33-year-old Sam Chau and 27-year-old Nelson Chau, the store will mark their first foray outside of the world of street vending. The Chau brothers were born in Hong Kong and now live in Queens and have only been making fried ice cream for four years. Last year alone, the brothers participated in the Long Island City Flea market, The Queens International Night Market and several Manhattan street fairs.
The deal came about through word of mouth, as the organizer and creator of the Queens International Market, John Wang, received word of the greater Jamaica Development Corporation looking for potential businesses wanting to expand into a vacant spot at Jamaica Market. When hearing about the opportunity, Wang said he “immediately thought” of the Chau Brothers because of their “fun, high-quality product that’s still accessible to a wide audience.”
The members of the GJDC board, said they were pretty excited to have a new business in the community, one that many local shoppers will be sure to appreciate. Mary Reda, director of real estate operations for GJDC said that she was “tremendously excited” for Sam’s Fried Ice Cream and what they could bring to Southeast Queens.
“We absolutely loved Sam’s Fried Ice Cream when the Night Market was in Jamaica, and are ecstatic they are coming back to Jamaica as an independent business venture,” Reda said. “These are exactly the kinds of businesses and ventures that will catalyze the renaissance happening here.”
The Chau brother seemed just as excited to bring their grassroots business to the growing downtown Jamaica area, citing that as venders they were often times able to sell as many as 700 portions of the fried Ice cream treats to customers and hopes to carry that success over to their storefront.
At their busiest, the brothers sold up to 700 ice cream balls in a day from a single booth.
“Even on the coldest nights at the Night Market in Jamaica, we sold plenty of fried ice cream and received amazingly positive feedback,” Sam Chau said in a press release. “We are nervous, of course, since this will be the first time we are making the transition from street vendor to brick-and-mortar. But Greater Jamaica Development Corporation has been a great pleasure to work with. It’s nice to have a landlord with a social and community vision and a commitment to small business.”
Reach Trone Dowd at (718) 357-7400 x123, firstname.lastname@example.org or @theloniusly