Sunday, March 25, 2007


Recently I started hanging out with my old college friend Andrew Wasmuth. I just remembered how we ironically met.

I had transfered to the University of Rochester and saw that he was wearing a CICF shirt. I had told him that my family owned the CICF and asked him if he liked our ice cream. He replied that he had never even tasted our ice cream but loved our logo. I found out that Andrew literally wore our shirt everyday while working out. What a strange coincidence.

After a bonding experience like that, we continued on to be good friends. How could I not love someone who sports our shirt every other day. I told him that I would replace his shirts for the rest of his life because I do not know anyone besides myself who wears our T shirt that often.

The CICF connection remains strong even outside of NYC.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I always talk about how proud I am of "my kids". Recently I have been getting a lot of strange responses to that, so I think I'll have to clarify...

We operate like a small family here. We often drive each other crazy though deep down we all love each other. I even love Frank. (gosh, I can't believe I said that).
Ling and Frank are definitely most like my real kids, because no matter how much I want to get rid of them, I still love them to death. Sofia and Jason are the least like my kids because they are the Asian models of perfection so there isn't any reason not to love them. All the other kids are just super lovable just because.

Although I am a nag and we all work very hard; we all spend a lot of time together,; holidays and all. They share stories about dating disasters and I always listen to their teenage-20year old drama. I make sure to nag them about looking both ways when crossing the street and not to drink too much at frat parties.

For Christmas, they actually had my CICF shirt embroidered with "Momma Chris" on the back. It also has a smiley face with a chef hat and a cooking spoon. Ay-Yah! Now that I'm single, who's going to want me with 20+ kids who are teenagers!!

Now it's not just the kids calling me Momma Chris, but my friends have as well.

Yes, I heard that the shirt was James' idea. I won't forget that...

Friday, March 23, 2007


Asian Women in Business (AWIB) is a very cool organization that I recently joined. I found out about AWIB through their involvement with the Explore Chinatown Campaign.

Since 9/11, AWIB has been actively involved with economic development and providing assistance to adversely affected businesses, both male and female owned, in Lower Manhattan. I really respect and appreciate all that they have done to help our community.

AWIB provides to its members a diverse set of classes and seminars with professionals who specialize in those areas. In addition, AWIB holds networking social events so that we can all learn from one another while having an awesome time. The flexibility of how involved you want to be is a definite plus.

Bonnie, Melissa, Suja,and Lea have done an excellent job at making AWIB feel like a family.

You can become a member for as little as $50 for students, and $125 for the individual membership.

More information on AWIB can be found on

Thursday, March 22, 2007


What's cool about working at CICF is that we have so many people that come in and out, that I am always reconnecting with old friends and there are tons of familiar faces. This is mostly a good thing.

Here's a funny or not so funny anecdote of the day for me.

So I'm at work and who comes in? The hottest boy from my high school! Back in the days of attending Benjamin Cardozo HS (which was ages ago), I had the biggest crush on this boy. I think most of the school had a crush on him because our boy to girl ratio for my year was like 2:8.

In my mind, I was thinking should I finally introduce myself after 10 years of him not knowing that I existed? I wanted to say, "All the girls had the biggest crush on you in high school, including me."

So as I'm scooping his ice cream, what happens? Being the klutz and dork that I am, I knock over a stack of cups as my heart skips like ten beats. Yes, I made a total fool of myself.

So I try to smile at him and cover up what I've just done, and in the back of my mind I'm worried about whether or not I have frosting in my hair or something. I am definitely not feeling my cutest in my baseball cap, although our uniforms definitely do rock.

Yep...this boy still totally doesn't know I exist. There are some things that even a decade won't change. I am definitely not going to admit that I was part of his girl crazy fan club.

Okay, lady players....cut me a little slack over my antimack skills. I haven't been single for 8 years, so this talking to guys thing is new to me!

Who will I bump into next here? Everyone eats CICF ice cream. It is that damn good!

Hopefully the next time a cute boy comes in, I won't make a fool out of myself, but I doubt that.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Today I received an email from Will who has been the Communications Director for the Museum of the Chinese in the Americas (MOCA). He's actually leaving to Cali to follow his dreams of pursuing a career in the performing arts.

He wrote that he would be "sad to leave the MOCA family". I told him that he hasn't realized that he has also been part of a bigger family; our "Chinatown Family".

Will is about my age (more or less), and we don't hang out or anything, but I am going to miss him so much!

When I was doing my radio diary for WFUV (, I interviewed Will as a representative for the MOCA. I went on thinking that the MOCA was just going to be one of many interviews. Will proved me wrong, because he shared with me a personal story of how 9/11 had affected his family's business...

After over two decades of being in business, they were forced to close because the aftermath of 9/11 on Chinatown's economy was just so harsh. I was deeply moved by his family's experience and inspired by their strength to move on. I think that was one of the interviews I learned the most from.

Sometimes in our jobs, we wonder if we make a difference. This holds true whether you're a doctor or a scoopologist. During his time at the MOCA, I have seen Will in action; trying to help the MOCA as well as the greater Chinatown community with all of their events. This blog is dedicated to Will. All of your work really made a difference in our community and I am sure that it'll continue on.

By the way...when you make it in Cali and you're some fabulous celebrity, tell them that the best ice cream is from CICF. Just kidding. =)

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Ice cream is one of those all around feel good foods. People mostly associate ice cream with happiness. I've been touched that there have been many customers that have made sure to have our ice cream at some of the most sacred occasions in their lives.

One man brought two heart shaped almond cookie cakes from us as a way of asking his girlfriend to marry him. He told me that she loved our ice cream more than anything in the world! I was very touched. I definitely took a lot of extra time and TLC to prepare their cakes. I'm sure that she said "yes" to his proposal. How could you turn down a guy who buys you almond cookie ice cream from CICF?

We have many other customers who insist that our ice cream is part of their holiday and family tradition. One customer commented that "the holidays would just not be the same without our lychee ice cream".

There are also those occasions where people need some cheering up. It could be a breakup with an old beau or a death of a loved one where some sort of comfort food is definitely needed. I noticed that because we are situated a few blocks away from one of the city's busiest funeral parlors that many people come in after services. It's really nice to know that our product can help ease some of the solace of losing someone.

And lastly, there are people like me who need no reason at all to eat our ultra premium ice cream. I seriously eat it all day. It's my 6th food group. (That's probably why I need to run 12 miles a week to keep it off!) Ice cream makes everyone happy!

Friday, March 16, 2007


They say that March goes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Judging from the nasty weather today, I would say that the old adage holds true.
We had a relatively warm winter here in NYC, but today it was snowing and hailing cats and dogs!

Yes, business was bad for us, but it was bad for all of Chinatown and for everyone else in the city. I remember as a little girl, I would really worry when business was bad because I could see that no money was coming in. One time I asked my dad how he could be so calm about not having much business and not stressing out about the snow. He said to me, "If everyone else has no business, how can you expect to have business? You don't control the weather and I don't control the weather so we can't worry about what we have no control over." That really put things into perspective for me.

Bodarky from NPR commented on how small businesses like ourselves really have to still do a lot of work even though we aren't generating much revenue. Small businesses have many struggles that people just don't see. In spite of not making money and the bad weather, businesses have to still open up and pay their workers and pay their bills. We still have to shovel the snow and do all of our daily tasks although we know that we will be taking a loss for the day.

Working here at
CICF, I have really grown an appreciation and understanding of how other businesses struggle as well as our own. I also teach our workers to have respect for others in service jobs and for other business owners (especially in Chinatown).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


The Chen Dancers are an organization that is based in Chinatown that we at CICF regularly try to support. We usually do things like donate coupons for free ice cream and such for their volunteers.

Excitingly, they are having a free performance at the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center of lower Manhattan on March 23& 24th (Friday and Saturday). The Chen Dancers are AWESOME so I'm sure that after one show, you'll be hooked. They are based in Chinatown, so I think that this free performance will give them a lot of great exposure. Good luck to them and I will try my best to be there!

They will be putting on their performance of Apple Dreams which uses the refuge of palm trees as the setting for a spiritual journey to find meaning and beauty within the cracks of an urban world.

For more information

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Yesterday night after partying, I headed back to Chinatown (my favorite place in the world!) with my friends. It really is the best place to satisfy your late night munchies.

We went to 69 Restaurant (69 Bayard Street) for some beef chow fun and chicken wings. I don't think that the chicken wings are on the menu because they aren't very Chinese but you can request them. This establishment is open till 4 am so it's a great place to hit up on a saturday night.

What's also cool about this restaurant is that it has all these dollar bills posted on their walls. They let the customers personalize their dollars and stick them up. Although I have posted my dollars up, I have realized that they periodically replace them. =(

Another restaurant in Chinatown that is also open late at night is NY Noodletown (located on Bowery and Bayard). I like the cha siu (Chinese pork) noodle soup here.

I think Chinatown is the only place in NYC where the food is so yummy and dirt cheap. It is hands down the best place to eat at all times of the day.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Shopping on Canal Street is AWESOME! It's quite honestly one of my favorite places to shop.

Since I am a real foodie, I like to shop at Kam Man Supermarket. I like it not just for it's groceries, but they have a second level that sells beautiful Asian dishes. I really am a fan of Japanese plates and bowls. On the holidays and special occasions, I use these things instead of buying the traditional China.

As most people know, Canal Street is world famous for selling it's counterfeit bags. Here you can find your fakes for brands like LV, Chole, etc. Recently because the police have been giving vendors a hard time, you may have to request to look at these items because they are not left out in the open.

Even if you aren't a fan of fake bags or apparel, shopping on Canal street is pretty fun. My sister and I are all about getting good deals. You can buy real silver jewlery or costume jewlery and accessories for a fraction of what you would pay at the malls.

Fun things that my sister and I have bought off Canal recently are headbands, pashmina wraps and silver earrings.

The jewlery stores on Canal are also some of the cheapest places to buy gold. For my past birthday, my dad bought me a beautiful 24K necklace from Golden Jade Jewlery.

Note about bargaining on Canal Street: It is acceptable to try to bargain in moderation and with class. If someone is asking for $25 for a handbag, don't expect to get it for $5. Although everyone wants a bargain, these people are also trying to make a living.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Besides Asia, I would say that the dim sum in NYC's Chinatown is the best out there. It's a tradition for many families and/or friends to go out to the restaurants and leisurely pick out these small delicacies from the ladies with the pushcarts.

Some places that I would recommend are listed below:

* At Jing Fong Restaurant (on Elizabeth St., btw Canal and Bayard) you venture up an escalator, while looking at all the ornate chandeliers and intricate woodwork that they have. If it's your first time at dim sum, it really is impressive.

* Golden Unicorn (on East Broadway) is a favorite for many tourists and locals.

* DimSum GoGo (Chatham Square) is very tourist friendly. Here is the only place where they don't actually bring the dimsum out on the carts very often. After being seated, you get a sheet of paper which list the dim sum choices in English (which is a plus for people who don't speak Chinese) and you get to tally off how many of each item you want.
*Golden Bridge Restaurant- (Bowery St, btw Bayard and Canal) is also want of the more ornate banquet halls in Chinatown. I find that here the portions are much bigger than usual.

*Ping's Restaurant is also a favorite for many locals. It is located on Mott Street, in the heart of Chinatown. The decor isn't as elaborate as Jing Fong and Golden Bridge, but the food is still good.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


On my off days, I enjoy baking and cooking for friends and family. I hear that food is the way to a man's heart, but yet I find myself still single. Oh well, at least my friends and family love me!! (Or at least they love my food and desserts!)

Well, tommorrow I'm going to my good friend Michelle. Since I haven't seen her in a bit, I decided to make her a batch of my homemade, full of TLC brownies!

People come in and ask, "when is the next time that you're going to have chocolate brownie ice cream?". Well since I'm in my baking mode, I guess we'll being making that flavor for all next week.

I only use the best ingredients, in my cooking, baking, and of course in the ice cream process. My brownies are made with organic Green & Black's chocolate. Love their brand! It has an earthy chocolate taste that is perfect for baking.

I went to pastry and baking school at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) for recreation. My instructors would be proud of me that I continue insanely baking. Here's my recipe for my homemade brownies.


16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of unsalted butter)
8 ounces Green and Black's Baking Chocolate
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

one 13X9X2 inch pan that should be greased with butter and lined with parchment paper


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and turn off heat. Put the butter and chocolate into a stainless steel mixing bowl and put this over the saucepan of water. (This is also called a double boiler.) Stir the chocolate and butter occasionally until melted.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the sugars, salt and vanilla. Next, stir in our chocolate and butter.

4. Slowly fold in the flour.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Make sure that the mixture is spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007


We are very flattered that so many people decide to do their school projects on the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory! Students ranging from elementary schools to graduate schools have done projects on CICF.

Xiao Wen who is regularly comes to buy ice cream after going to school at Transfiguration, gave me a copy of the project that she did on CICF. She did a great job at describing the ice cream making process to her class. She received a score of 90! That's my girl!

Michael Healy who is a NYU film student is currently working on a documentary on food processes. We were lucky enough to have him interview us and film us producing our signature ice cream cakes. Hopefully when he finishes his project, we can post it on our UTUBE site.

Other school projects that we have been involved with was teaching a small group for NYU's Stern School. On saturday mornings for one month, a small group of students would come to CICF and discuss small business ideas and practices.

Columbia's Chinese Association also did a short film which included CICF for one of their past China Nights.

If anyone is interested in doing projects on CICF, feel free to email me!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


We've just been experiencing this front of cold weather and everyone has been coming down with something or other. I, myself have been feeling a little under the weather.

When I get sick, Dad usually buys some Ginseng and Chinese herbs. Chinese herbal treatments have been used for thousands of years so I'm sure that the stuff works. These can things can be found at the herb shop a few door down from us, in between us and 69 Restaurant. My friends Amy and Jason's family own the small shop. I love the fact that Chinatown is so community oriented and all the businesses are friends with one another.

NY Noodle Town, Wonton Garden, and Bo Ky Restaurant are all places I would go to get some soup to cure my winter blues. At all of these places, you can get an order of hot wonton noodle soup for less than the price of an order at McDonald's.

Although some feel that the winter is not the optimal time to eat ice cream, I beg to differ. I enjoy my ice cream the most during the winter!

Keep warm!

Monday, March 05, 2007


Customers usually ask what inspires us to create a certain flavor. Well, one of our newest flavors is Zen Butter, and I'll give you the DL on how we came up with this flavor sensation.

Back when I was in high school (which was like a decade ago), I met my friend
Chris Tzen (last name pronounced "Zen") . From the first day that I met him, he has been getting on my case to make a peanut butter ice cream. I would always reply that we can't make peanut butter ice cream because there's nothing exotic about it...

One day when I was in a restaurant eating cold Asian peanut butter noodles with sesame seeds, the idea hit me! Eureka! Peanut butter ice cream with toasted sesame seeds. Who knew that those noodles we eat so often would be a source of inspiration.

So here I am ten years later, finally with peanut butter ice cream. I found it only appropriate to name it after him with a Chinese twist. Hence "Zen Butter" was born.