Ava's Home Made Ice Cream, at 1 W. Henry St., on a side street leading from downtown Basking Ridge, is in a location destined to draw customers — right next door to the Oak Street elementary school.
The whimsically decorated old-fashioned ice cream shop, with its pictures of cute faces painted on giant ice cream scoops outside the building, can expect kids out the door at the end of the school day in the warm months each fall and spring, said Ava's manager, Lindsay Zorn.
Ava's is open from March through November, but on seven days a week during that time, Zorn said. Hours are noon to 10 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m.
Other than coffee and other beverages, pretty much all of what Ava's serves is ice cream related.
Even the homemade chocolate chip cookies, baked on the premises, can for $2 be used to sandwich a scoop of homemade ice cream flavors, made on the premises by Zorn. On a recent day, that included coconut and peanut butter flavors.
Zorn also promised the very popular chocolate caramel brownie flavor will be back this fall.
The $2 for the fresh ice cream sandwiches even include sprinkles.
Ava's also sells soft ice cream and soft frozen yogurt, made nearby. One of the more unusual flavors is the red velvet frozen yogurt, Zorn said.
"The frozen yogurt is very popular in Basking Ridge," she said. "People are looking for ways to cut calories.
Zorn said she considers Ava's to be a "hidden gem" that people have to make a little effort to find, but that they return once they do.
She said prices are pretty good, too. A small shake with two scoops of ice cream is $2.94, including tax, she said. A popular shake flavor is Cookie D'Oreo, a mix of cookie dough ice cream and Oreo-flavored ice cream, she said.
Cups, cones, sundaes, shakes and floats are on the menu.