â€‹Marc and Sandy Roth decided to combine her love of retail with his love of hospitality in April, 2016. Around that time, the eldest of their three daughters was entering preschool, and the couple got a taste of just how serious nut allergies were. Soon after, they learned that their nephew had a severe peanut/tree nut allergy. As a result, Marc Roth decided to learn how to make ice cream, leading to the birth of A La Mode, guaranteed to be 100-percent nut-free.
Photo by Dave Zucker
“We wanted to have ice cream for everybody, in a safe environment,” Sandy Roth says. “Marc learned how to make ice cream, and the demand was so high that we decided to open another company [in Fall, 2016] called Dessurt Corp.”
So A La Mode is the shop and event space, and Dessurt Corp. is the factory in Hunts Point, the Bronx. There are dairy- and gluten-free options as well. Two months in, business took off thanks to one father with a child allergic to nuts posting a picture of the shop’s sign on social media.
“All of a sudden, we were bombarded by people across the country,” Marc Roth says. “It wasn’t until then that we realized we were one of the only nut-free ice cream shops.”
Even after almost two years, Marc Roth says that they have 10 to 15 kids per day come in to have ice cream for the very first time. People young and old who order online record themselves opening A La Mode packages because of the sheer excitement of finally having ice cream.
The Roths work with allergy awareness groups and doctors to ensure that their product is safe for all. “The support from that community has been amazing,” Marc Roth says.
Fun fact: there is an Ice Cream University in West Orange, NJ where Marc Roth learned his chops, founded by Malcom Stogo (who is oft credited with creating the cookies and cream flavor in 1978).
Dessurt Corp. supplies ice cream to approximately 2,000 stores nationwide, and you can buy the treats online as well and have them shipped to your door. At the A La Mode shop, you can enjoy an ice cream flight of all the flavors on display before you have the task of choosing one or two. The shop is also an event space for the little ones.
You can find A La Mode products at DeCicco stores, Stop & Shop, and ShopRite in Westchester or check out their site to to order online.