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John Jay Teacher Helps Bluebird Ice Cream Soar

Lewisboro teacher Barbara Kessler runs Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream in Cross River and is set to celebrate the store's one year anniversary on July 15. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell
The unofficial motto of Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell
Kessler smiles after seeing the enjoyment on the face of Lewisboro's Thomas Horowitz. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell
Bluebirds line the ice cream shop to help people remember the name. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell

CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – Some teachers can burn out after five years. John Jay High School teacher Barbara Kessler has spent decades at the school teaching Spanish.

Half of all marriages end in divorce. Kessler's has lasted more than 37 years.

Most businesses don't survive their first year. On July 15, Cross River's Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream hasn't just survived Hurricanes in its first year in business, it's thriving with Kessler at the helm.

"I guess I've made it through a lot," Kessler said in the few minutes of downtime the store has between customers who flock from North Salem, Lewisboro, Pound Ridge and as far away as Ossining and Valhalla. "It gives me goosebumps but we've made it."

The ice cream shop on the corner of Routes 35 and 121 is set to celebrate its one year anniversary on July 15. To mark the occassion, Kessler is giving out free sprinkles to each ice cream order. But Kessler said it's the least she can do to thank the customers.

"People have been walking in from New Rochelle, Larchmont, Valhalla and going all out with coolers with dry ice to get our product," Kessler. "I'm extremely humbled by it."

Bluebird Homemade Ice Cream is a family business, originally started by Kessler's oldest son Josh. Josh started the company in 2009 after failing to find good ice cream while traveling and now owns three shops. While she would like to take credit, Kessler said the real key to the business's success is Josh's drive and the product he perfected.

"We pay for air when we go to the supermarket to buy ice cream," Kessler said. "Our machine that we got in Italy gets rid of that air so the ice cream is a very dense product and it makes it smooth also. People remark on that and they love it. Really, I consider myself lucky to do this for them."

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