Folks of all ages looking for an ice cream parlor experience need look no further than Cafe de la Creme at 4500 Sunny Isle Shopping Center, behind First Bank, near the outdoor theater and playground.
The menu features hand-packed Edy’s ice cream and milkshakes, hot dogs, assorted baked goods and, the latest addition, Belgian waffles.
For 15 years, Cafe de la Creme has been the place to cool off and satisfy a sweet tooth in between shopping and running errands. Frank and Laura Leone, a former minister and licensed professional counselor, from Newton, New Jersey, bought it in May 2017. They had traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and always hoped to relocate to the region when the right business opportunity came along. After visiting all three islands, they decided to make the big island their home.
“My wife Laura and I love the Caribbean and found that we prefer the less cosmopolitan, slower paced lifestyle of St. Croix,” Frank Leone said. “We love the people, the culture and the strong family environment. Cafe de la Creme was a great turnkey business opportunity. We also believed it would be a great way to meet people, so we took a leap of faith and haven’t looked back.”
After the Leones bought the business in May 2017, the Cafe sustained damage to the roof just a few months later, when Hurricane Maria hit the island in September. Structural repairs forced them to close for two months before reopening in November, just in time for Thanksgiving and the holiday season.
Jovella Browne manages the business in the Leone’s absence – she’s their right hand and handles the day-to-day operation. The couple agrees they couldn’t run the business without her.
Frank added that, although neither he nor his wife have any prior restaurant experience, he grew up around a lot of food due to his Italian heritage. The Cafe carries Edy’s ice cream exclusively, but when the company stopped making rum raisin ice cream, Frank stepped up to the plate to create “Frank’s Own” version of the flavor, along with a few additional updates.
“I love ice cream, everyone likes ice cream. Ice cream makes people happy. With the addition of our Belgian waffles, we have added a ‘touch of old-world taste’ to the menu,” he said.
In the coming months the Cafe will expand the variety of waffles to include chocolate dipped Belgian waffles and waffles with a variety of toppings.
Laura Leone said there are plenty more Cafe de la Creme coming attractions.
“In the months to come, we will continue to expand the Cafe menu to include specialty ice cream cones and dairy-free gelato in coconut and macadamia flavors. These are just a few of the additions we plan to introduce that we hope will enhance the ice cream parlor experience for our customers.”
Cafe de la Creme is open seven days a week: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Those interested can contact Cafe de la Creme by calling 340-778-1811 or sending email to info@Cafe delacreme.com.