Westport mainstay Murray’s Homemade Ice Cream hasn’t announced a closure, it just quietly auctioned off its goods in late 2016.
When longtime customers of the Engravalle family heard about it, they came together to make sure a family-friendly ice cream shop would still be operating in space. They bought most of Murray’s equipment at the auction and spent six weeks negotiating a lease for the space at 4120 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 14.
Their Westport Ice Cream Bakery will sell artisanal ice cream, along with their new Vito’s Famous Shalolly & Sorbetto, baked goods such as cookies, brownies and ice cream pies, as well as hand dipped strawberries, shakes and floats.
COO Steve Engravalle is originally from New Jersey but always stopped by Murray’s house to visit his brother and sister-in-law Dan and Debra Engravalle in Kansas City. Steve Engravalle was a school principal for six years, but his wife passed away five years ago and he was looking for a change. Her brother and sister-in-law are partners in the new boutique.
“I’m half Polish, half Italian. We are big eaters. I am 270 years old, my brother is older, ”said Engravalle. “But this will be the place where you go to break your diet.” It was an institution for 32 years and we would like it to remain a destination.
In towns in New Jersey where the family is from, shalolly is the term used to refer to Italian ice cream. Vito’s logo features a photo of the brothers’ grandfather, Vito Engravalle, and they will use recipes he used in his bowling concession in the 1940s and 1950s.
Murray’s opened in the mid-1980s and typically closed for the winter break from December through March. The owner could not be reached for comment.
Westport Ice Cream Bakery will be open daily, year round. Some flavors will include Coffee Chip, Key Lime, Malted Milk Ball, and Frankenstein (ingredients to be revealed later).
Engravalle said he sifted through handwritten notes in the mail slot of Murray fans interested in taking the place, wanting Murray’s recipes or just saying it was missed.
“We know the place he had in Kansas City. We’re not going to duplicate everything Murray did, but we will give you some fresh ingredients. We want to be a gentle continuation, ”said Engravalle. “We have a list of 168 recipes that we’re going to cut back on, but not the chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry because it’s boring.”
This story was originally published April 10, 2017 4:41 pm.