KEY LARGO -- Since 2001, Mr. C.'s has successfully scooped Key Largo's only homemade ice cream from its original location at Mile Marker 98.9.
But recent efforts by owner Robert Cangelosi to expand the Mr. C's brand into Islamorada and Tavernier have been less successful.
Now, Cangelosi is trying the expansion game again. Only this time, he's got his brand new bride, Ashley, in tow. The duo married on Nov. 9, just two weeks after they opened the newest Mr. C's location, this one at Mile Marker 103.1, bayside.
A smaller ice cream cart was also being primed for an opening last week next to the Tiki Bar at Postcard Inn.
"It's all homemade; all natural," said Ashley, who is managing the new Key Largo parlor. "No artificial colors or ingredients and we don't put any corn syrup in it."
Cangelosi made his first effort to expand the Mr. C's brand a couple years ago through a deal with the owners of an Islamorada shop. Under the arrangement, Cangelosi gave away naming rights in exchange for the operators' commitment to purchase his ice cream for resale. However, the shop recently switched to a different ice cream purveyor and has been renamed Mrs. G's.
A similar arrangement at Tavernier Towne shopping plaza location was also unsuccessful. The store owner closed after just a few months this summer, Cangelosi said.
The latest expansions are being pursued under a more traditional model, with the Cangelosis, husband and wife, remaining in ownership.
Robert said he wants to make it easier for his customers to reach him.
"The reason I do these things is so people will have access," he said. "I want to make it convenient for the neighborhood."
The Postcard Inn cart could prove to be a hit among the many vacationers who visit what has long been one of Islamorada's most famous spots for making merry.
The cart will feature two ice cream flavors, two gelatos and two sorbets. For those who are really in the mood, Mr. C's also plans to sell a Neapolitan or Oreo ice cream waffle sandwich.
Robert expects the cart to be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to dark on weekends.
Up at Mile Marker 103.1, the new parlor sells Mr. C's full 24-flavor slate of frozen desserts, including 17 types of ice cream, four sorbets and three gelatos.
Milkshakes, banana splits and other ice cream treats are also available. Nathan's hot dogs, complete with homemade chili, are served as well, for those looking for a meal before their dessert.
The newlywed bride emphasized that the shop, which is far more spacious than the original Mr. C's, is also available for birthday parties and other special events. Mr. C's makes it own ice cream cakes as well as ice cream pies.
The new parlor, as well as the original Mr. C's creamery, is open noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 11 p.m. on weekends. Call 305-453-4256 for more information.