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Darien Daily Voice serves Darien, CT

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Childhood Dream Leads to Sweet Success

Jay Ragusa, originally from Stamford, might have liked ice cream just a little bit more than the next kid growing up. While most just want to indulge in the occasional frozen treat, he wanted to be in the business. Now, Ragusa is a partner in Gofer Ice Cream with half of his projected ten shops serving up scoops across Fairfield County.

What inspired you to start Gofer Ice Cream?

While I had the ice cream concept in my mind since I was 12, I followed another dream of mine in my first career working in investment management for eight years after college. After the Wall Street  meltdown of 2001, I decided to start my own company.

What is the most challenging or rewarding part of your business?

People and people. I enjoy seeing how my company effects customers, crew members and even franchisees lives. However, managing all these crew members is sometimes like herding cats. So that remains the biggest challenge.

What are your future plans for Gofer and yourself?

I plan on continued expansion of the Gofer Brand through more shops and expanded catering gigs. We recently also entered the energy business through our on-line portal called goferenergy.com. Personally, I would like to start a family. However, I guess I am still waiting for the right woman to walk into Gofer one day.

What is Gofer’s role in the community?

Gofer Ice Cream acts as the central social spot on many a summer night in our five communities. We support our customers back by donating or attending many of their events throughout the year. I view our role as the “home team” in terms of ice cream products. We want to become the place where growing families return as often as they feel the need to treat themselves.

Tell us more about Gofer Ice Cream and what you offer.

Gofer Ice Cream is the home town shop. We may look like a big chain but we are an early stage company still growing founded right in Greenwich. We are seeking partners to become franchisees to help us expand the area coverage.

In our Darien shop we will be bringing back frozen yogurt as it seems to be back in demand. We will offer ten flavors in the Darien shop this season. However, we know many people have come to love our Gofer Lite product, so we will continue to offer that as well in all our shops.

In an effort to expand the uptake of our energy business we are offering a $20 Gofer Card for all that switch to our electric service through our portal www.goferenergy.com We are currently working with a local charity to see how we can benefit their cause with our energy service.

We are also expanding our on line Club Gofer Facebook site to encourage more interaction including Bluefish ticket giveaways, Today is Your Day (free ice cream to the names listed on our calendar each day) and “igofer” an online photo game where you can post and tag yourself in Gofer shops to win even more stuff.

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