Since 1915, the DiCosmo Family has been hand crafting Italian Ice. Commitment to quality is our legacy. Using natural ingredients and following time-honored recipes, we create a unique product that bursts with flavor and has a light and refreshing texture. We are so proud to share our family tradition with you!
DiCosmo Family History
In the early 1900’s, after emigrating to Elizabeth, NJ from Vallata Italy, Giovanni and Katerina opened a small neighborhood market in the Peterstown section. One long hot summer, Katerina wanted to offer their customers something especially refreshing. She remembered the granita that she had enjoyed in Italy and thought that it would be a welcome addition to their little store. She created a recipe using fresh squeezed lemon juice, sugar and water. She modified the traditional method of scraping the granita ice crystals, to churning the mixture by hand in an ice cream maker. Customers loved it and word of mouth quickly spread.
Year after year, demand for the wonderfully flavorful and refreshing lemon ice grew. Katerina and Giovanni passed the business down to their son, Alfred, a welder, and his wife Agnes a talented cook. Agnes knew that customers would appreciate other flavors aside from lemon, but Katerina could not be convinced. It was not until after her passing that Agnes created recipes for orange, pineapple, and a combination of the two affectionately known as the, “Peterstown Special”. Additional flavors followed in time. Alfred mechanized the hand crank machines to reduce the manufacturing time and increase production.
Their son, John DiCosmo, had never known a summer without Italian Ice, so it was only natural that when his parents were ready to step down, he and his wife Nancy keep the family business going. Where Alfred and Agnes viewed the Italian Ice shop as a seasonal hobby that made a couple of dollars, John and Nancy embraced the idea of DiCosmo’s Italian Ice as a legitimate business. They modernized manufacturing, created new recipes and extended hours.
Over time, one of John and Nancy’s six children, Eileen, realized that continuing this family business in operation for over a century, was her passion. Creating an amazing product that generations of customers have enjoyed was something very special. She and her husband, Mike, opened a DiCosmo’s Italian Ice in Metuchen, NJ, where their children are learning the biz as well! Their shop offers more advancements including a custom-made dipping cabinet from Italy, regular hours, (even when it rains) and the ability to take credit cards. Eileen will offer with new flavors alongside the traditional favorites.