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Amai Ice Cream: Rolled Ice Cream with a Twist

Welcome to Amai Ice Cream, a rolled ice cream shop located in Bloomfield, NJ. However, this isn’t your typical ice cream parlor. 

Amai Ice Cream is own and run by young entrepreneur Kitana James. Born in St. Lucia with roots in Brooklyn, NY, James started her ice cream business when she grew curious about how ice cream was made. When she discovered rolled ice cream, her curiosity grew even further. Investing in her own equipment and after doing small events and catering, James decided to open up her ice cream parlor in the spring of 2023 and she did it with a twist: many of her menu items come alcohol infused. 

Kitana James, Owner of Amai Ice Cream | Sophia Lazaridis

“I am from St. Lucia and anyone who knows the Caribbean, especially St. Lucia, knows we love our liquor,” James said, “I was just like, I want to put something that’s a part of me, that’s part of home, and liquor came to mind. I tested it out on the small pan that I had and it was delicious. I was like, ‘People are going to love this!’” James laughed. 

James made it a priority when opening her shop that it was a welcoming and comfortable environment. The bright colors, floral displays, and board game station provides an inviting atmosphere that makes you want to stay. 

“Sometimes you don’t want to be home, but you don’t want to be in a crowded, bustling environment. You just want somewhere to be at peace and some people don’t have peace at home.” James said. “I want people to come in and feel welcomed. To feel like they could just relax and, you know, talk to strangers, play games if you’re bored.” 

Games Table | Sophia Lazaridis

Owning her own business, let alone a rolled ice cream shop, was something that James never thought that she would be doing. “You never know what your calling is. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and enjoy what you’re doing [and] see where it takes you.” James remarked. With the help of her family, she was able to open her doors and keep the shop running. 

For James, the most rewarding part about owning her business is the freedom she gets from, “not having someone over your shoulders,” and bringing joy to those who have the pleasure of walking into her shop. “I’m doing something that makes me happy and I’m doing something that makes other people happy.” 

Cookie Monster

Amai Ice Cream is located at 625 Bloomfield Ave. and is open 4pm-10pm everyday. Be sure to follow the shop on Instagram @amaiicecream to keep up with upcoming events and newest flavors.


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