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French Chef Brings Gourmet Ice Cream to Bed-Stuy

By Paul DeBenedetto | September 3, 2013 8:08am | Updated on September 3, 2013 1:31pm
 Benoit Gerin, 42, sells ice cream to Wafels and Dinges, Sofitel and now Bed-Stuy residents.
Lady Moo-Moo Ice-Cream Shop in Bed-Stuy
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Benoit Gerin's desserts are found in the popular Manhattan food truck Wafels & Dinges and inside the upscale Sofitel Hotel in Midtown.

But Bed-Stuy residents don't have to pay $500 for a room to enjoy Gerin's gourmet ice cream — all they have to do is head to the corner of Chauncey Street and Howard Avenue.

Lady Moo-Moo, an ice cream shop owned by the Mont Blanc Dessert founder, is a small retail window in eastern Bed-Stuy that serves fancy frozen desserts at prices rivaling an ice cream truck's, with kids cones starting at $1.25.

Gerin's newest business venture uses the same ice cream that he makes for his high-end clients with the same top-quality ingredients: custom-ordered chocolate, tropical fruit puree shipped from France and Tahitian vanilla, among others.

The location, at 365 Chauncey St., has served as Gerin's kitchen since October, when he and his wife purchased the building as a cheap alternative to real estate in pricier neighoborhoods. Earlier this summer the chef added a retail window to sell his desserts.

Now families in the neighborhood are enjoying the same gourmet treats as tourists and Manhattan socialites, for as little as $2.50 a cone for adults, or two scoops for $3.50.  At Wafels & Dinges, a scoop costs $2 — but it's only available atop a $5 waffle.  The Sofitel Hotel charges $12 for a three-scoop serving, a hotel worker said.

"[Neighbors] don't even know," Gerin, 42, admitted with a laugh. "There was a woman who was yelling at me the other day. She was like, 'You don't have [frozen] yogurt? You cannot be in this neighborhood if you don't have yogurt!'"

Originally a pastry chef from France, Gerin became interested in ice cream after moving to St. Barts in 1986. While there, he worked with tropical fruit to put his own spin on the iced confections.

After moving to New York in 1998, he started out working as a patry chef at Jean-Georges, before opening up his own dessert business. Mont Blanc started serving ice cream to Midtown restaurant Rue 57, and his business grew from there, Gerin said. 

He moved to Bed-Stuy five years ago, then moved his business to the neighborhood in 2012. He said he's glad to add something special to his own neighborhood.

"[Kids] come over here and get better ice cream and they're happy, their parents are happy," Gerin said. "It really makes a difference."