Photos courtesy of Lost Borough Ice Cream
Lost Borough Ice Cream brings its passion for far-flung flavors to downtown Yonkers, much to Westchester County’s delight.
When Patrick Cruz started making ice cream from his Yonkers home in 2019, he was unsure of where it would take him. The Westchester native had just returned from a trip to Chicago, during which he sat down at the local Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams parlor. From that moment, he fell in love with the idea of churning his own ice cream and decided to take it up as a hobby.
“I just experimented, coming up with whatever kind of flavors I could,” says Cruz. “I’d get different ingredients, just to see what worked and what didn’t work.”
A clinical social worker by trade, Cruz faced change when he was laid off during the pandemic. It was then that he considered turning his ice-cream-making passion into a business. He partnered with New Rochelle resident Kawana Jefferson to launch Lost Borough on Yonkers’ North Broadway.
Many of Lost Borough’s flavors are inspired by things Cruz picked up from traveling and learning about other cultures. His Sakura flavor was inspired by a trip he took to Japan in 2011, during Hanami (the annual cherry blossom festival). The idea for a chai flavor came about after he watched a YouTube video about one of Mumbai’s top chai shops. Rose, his personal favorite, has its roots in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
“There’s so much [in Yonkers], but so much of it is the same. We feel like there’s a void here, and we’re hoping to fill it.”
“I try to give customers options outside their comfort zones,” says Cruz. “You don’t have to go to some exotic place to try these flavors; you can get them here, in downtown Yonkers.”
Fulfilling the needs of downtown Yonkers is at the heart of Lost Borough’s identity. The name itself is a reference to an 1898 event in which Yonkers and Mount Vernon were given the option to merge with NYC as new boroughs. Both refused, choosing to remain independent — an event that Cruz feels solidified Yonkers as “the borough lost to time.”
“We chose downtown Yonkers because we really believe it needed an ice cream shop. Many people here have to go to Manhattan to have a good time,” says Cruz. “There’s so much [in Yonkers], but so much of it is the same. We feel like there’s a void here, and we’re hoping to fill it.”
One cone (or cup) at a time.