The sign says everything about the shop’s owners, Gabrielle Carbone and Matthew Errico, two New Jersey kids who fell in love and decided to open a gourmet ice-cream shop. “We still have a difficult time understanding why so many people are anti–the Garden State,” says Carbone, the sign’s author.
She and Errico use eggs from local farms, hormone-free dairy products from a nearby co-op, and herbs grown just down the road. And besides serving rich “Euro-style” hot chocolate and “artisan” ice cream, the Bent Spoon also sells (for $15) I NJ T-shirts. Customers who snap a picture of themselves wearing the Ts can redeem the photos for a free ice cream, cupcake, or the aforementioned hot chocolate. The sign in the shop implores customers to “unabashedly show your NJ pride,” and so they have. Photos of T-shirted patrons atop Machu Picchu in Peru, underwater in Cozumel, and riding elephants in Thailand flank the sign.