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Malu, LIC’s homemade ice cream shop, to close Feb. 28

Jennifer Dudek and Sergio Garcia, husband & wife owners of Malu

Malu husband-and-wife owners Jennifer Dudek and Sergio Garcia

Feb. 20, By Christian Murray

A well-known Jackson Avenue ice cream store is closing.

Malu, which sells homemade ice cream and confectionery, announced on Facebook and its website Tuesday that it is shutting its 12-09 Jackson Ave doors for good at the end of this month.

“Malu will be closing its doors for good on Friday, Feb 28th,” the Facebook posting read. “Come in and buy 1 get 1 free on all ice creams, baked goods, chocolates, and more!”

The owners of Malu, Jennifer Dudek and her husband, Sergio Garcia, opened the store in 2011 and are well known for putting on children’s music events and holding book readings. Come Christmas season, they would hold competitions such as the best gingerbread house.

The store sells a variety of homemade ice cream flavors—many of which are seasonal. It has even made flavors after residents and politicians. One flavor that generated some amusement was the Jimmy Van Berry—after the local councilman.

Several of Malu’s Facebook followers were upset by the announcement. Many wrote: “Noooooo!”

DNAinfo first reported the news yesterday.

Malu

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25 Responses »

  1. Sorry to see another small business close up shop.

  2. What happened? We love that place and try to frequent it as much as possible. We live by the waterfront and would skip Louie G and DD/Baskin Robbins to get to Malu. This is a big loss for our neighborhood.

  3. This is a big loss. Unfortunately, that part of the neighborhood still doesn’t get enough foot traffic I guess.

  4. Sucks, but can’t blame them as their location isn’t great and a year of poor 7 service will destroy foot traffic.

  5. Thank god. The ice cream was expensive and not very tasty. They were only nice to the people that were their “friends”. Like the cool girl running the high school clique, they never had time for you unless they already knew you. Hope to get better businesses in LIC. And that area gets plenty of foot traffic. Sweatleaf did so well just a block away that they opened a second location.

  6. @anon , I agree with you.

    “They were only nice to the people that were their “friends”. Like the cool girl running the high school clique”

  7. I always felt the workers there were very nice. I got a kick out of the guy who would tip his hat after you would and leave.

  8. Sad to see this place go, since it was great having really unique ice cream flavors locally made. That said, I never felt particularly welcome in the shop (guy would frown whenever I came in, what?) and the abundance of kid events was actually a turn off. (Sorry.)

    Still, was a great shop and I’m sorry it’s closing so soon. Was planning on bringing out-of-town guests here in the spring. Oh well.

  9. @anon
    I couldn’t disagree more. Both Jen and her husband are warm, kind and community minded. It’s a loss for our neighborhood and the families in it. This is the kind of business we need in LIC. Wishing the best to Jen, her husband and family. They are all lovely people.

  10. Long Island City doesn’t support local business, that’s the problem. Too many people move here just because its close to the city, not with the intention of hanging out in their own hood.

  11. @Licmama, we will have to agree to disagree. I have two very well behaved children. Jen was not only rude to me but to my kids. we really tried to like it because it was run by a local family. But after three visits, mediocre (and expensive) ice-cream and her being rude to my son, I was done. Plenty of local businesses do well here and even attract people to stay. Alobar is one example, Rustica is another. Bella Via has been here forever. Somehow they all survive and stay. I suspect it is because they are good at what they do, have loyal customers and believe in the “service” part of customer service. Maybe someplace will open there that we will both like and that will welcome all families.

  12. @Anon
    I agree Alobar, Rustica, and Bella Via are great businesses but that doesn’t mean you should assume they are doing well and are supported by LIC residents. Try going to the Long Island City Restaurant Association meetings I’ve been there and trust me, there are lots of quality places that are hurting.
    BTW I personally will miss Malu, but everyone has their own experience.

  13. @Anon, I agree as well. I went in there once, shortly after they opened and rude is an understatement. I asked if they had anything low fat. She looked me up and down and told me I could “afford to eat some fat”. I walked out and never returned. Uncalled for comment. She knows nothing about me, like i used to be obese and now watch what i eat. Just plain obnoxious.

  14. Loved the place. The owners and staff were very kind always, and we lvoed the ice cream.

    Maybe re-open it anywhere closer by the water.

    * all of the haters out there, it’s warming up outside, go get a breath of fresh air.

  15. I agree with the commenters who said that many LIC residents don’t support new businesses. How else can you explain the fact that the “old” LIC of the 50s, 60s and 70s — you know, the place that so many of you on this board considered an industrial wasteland — once had thriving retail stores lining both sides of Vernon Blvd, including a few bakeries, butchers, and other retail businesses lacking today. It’s because people in the neighborhood spent their money locally, and the people running the businesses raised families here and were devoted to their businesses and lcustomers for many years. Today, we have thousands of new residents, most making tons of money, and yet an ice cream place that so many claim to adore goes under. If you all went there, it would have stayed open, dummies.

    Another factor is that I suspect some of the new businesses are run by people as a hobby of sorts. They have outside sources of money and their livelihoods don’t really depend on scooping out ice cream to a bunch of yuppies and their brats. That explains the attitude of the staff — they just don’t care that much.

  16. I am not surprised. LIC is not the place for these types of businesses. The macaron shop which was next door to Malu only survived about 6 months before it shuttered. LIC wants to be “Brooklyn cool” and it just doesn’t work. I say this as a LIC native.
    I also agree with the comments about the unwelcome feeling in the store. I’ve been in there a handful of times when the owners were there and I noticed the clique mentality. It was very off-putting to say the least.

  17. 10 people are really sad right now.

  18. they will be closing….sad.
    if one door closes, another will open!
    i hope they find another spot, and i’ll be sure to follow. theier passion to give to community is priceless! especially having a chef, that traveled miles to share his thoughts through our palates… i’m keeping my fingers crossed that they will relocate!
    if there’s bacon, i’ll be there!!

  19. I really liked Malu and will miss it. The ice ream was great and any post saying it was bad must have some sort of agenda. I was never treated rudely, the location was bad. Sweet leafs location is much different they are in the better side of that intersection . That intersection by Malu is all about cars not people.

  20. I wonder if Malu can team up with Coffeed who is opening by the oval field in South Park. That would be perfect because they would only open during the summer and can close during the winter. Imagine being able to buy great coffee for yourself and great ice cream for your kids at the same time and then enjoy it in our beautiful park. Malu and Coffeed a marriage made in heaven.

  21. Ro-
    Great Idea!

  22. Ice cream is a hard sell when it is freezing out. Seasonal businesses are harder to sustain.

    Also, I think part of the problem is the location. I live in the Court Square area and the local retail isn’t great, which makes sense because the area doesn’t have the amount of new construction you see by the waterfront. However, that is changing and it will be interesting to see if the stores start to change. I think an untapped market is the area by the Court Square subway station. There are quite a few new buildings near there and many under construction. Malu’s local isn’t too bad but I think those looking to have a store in an up and coming area should consider opening something near the Court Square subway.

  23. The quiznos in court square has been there for at least eight years only open during the week, when the have a reason. Survival of the fittest.

  24. To everyone that wrote in, Thank you, even you Anon. We really tried to cater to everyone, and yes, we focused on kids. One thing we learned over these past 3 years is that most kids are a reflection of their parents, and if your child was called out for something it must have been because nobody else was looking after him. So I wish you and you family luck and hopefully you will find a place where you can be happy.

    To everyone else, we wish you sweet happiness and again, thank you for your kind words.

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