With influences ranging from Alice Waters to Alice in Chains, Alex Saneski and Jennifer Ko’s APEM Creamery and Sorbetteria in Bloomfield surely dazzles the senses — and lucky for our tastebuds, this beloved gelato shop is reopening for the season this Saturday, April 22nd. The meaning behind APEM is to bloom according to the creamery’s blog. “To bloom into something where people can feel amazing and let themselves go is the core goal of APEM. Actually, I don’t even want amazing. When people eat our gelato I want them to feel like gods where everything dissolves away. It’s crazy to think that way and its not possible but that’s the emotion we put into it,” stated Alex. Read on to learn more about APEM Creamery located at 870 Broad Street in Bloomfield.
The shop took to Instagram yesterday, April 18th, to share that “signs of springtime in Jersey” include “warm afternoons, budding trees… and APEM’s official opening,” which will take place this Saturday, April 22nd. While the flavors of the day haven’t been announced yet, we can confirm that they are something to be excited about because… well, they always are.
The creamery is known for creative gelato and sorbet flavors, community engagement, and Jersey dedication, one visit to the sophisticated yet welcoming spot and you may soon become a regular.
As Alex explains, “Good music, good people, treating people well, looking them in the eye on a consistent basis—these are some of the best medicines. And maybe several doses of gelato.”
The Unique Flavors
APEM’s weekly ingredient list could include everything from Jersey corn, olive oil, lychee, and dark chocolate. The ingredients reflect Alex’s belief that life is about constant change and diversity. The creamery is open Thursday through Sunday, some weekends have themed menus such as: Christmas in July, Diwali, Italy, and Asia. In regards to developing themed menus and fresh new flavors, seasonality plays a role as can travel, especially during the pandemic. Alex explains, “I make flavors to get me where I dream of going.”
Funky flavors with curious names are commonplace like Old School, which is sour cream and strawberry swirl, Afternoon Tea with the Queen – black tea and lemon, or Silk Road – saffron rice pudding with cardamom, cinnamon, pistachios, and strawberries. With vibrant hues ranging from fuchsia to chartreuse, each gelato and sorbet leaves a lasting impression on the eyes and taste buds.
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Choosing a flavor can be quite the feat but one can’t go wrong with multiple varieties of cornbread, the ultra luscious cardamom coffee, or the pop of Thai Iced Tea gelato. Regarding their annual flavor contest, Alex says, “doing one every year to open the season helps us get into the zone. It reminds me of how cool our customers are with the occasional goof ball thrown in to keep things interesting!”
As Jenny said, “I want to make sure everyone feels comfortable in my home.” Alex shared, “It’s the Garden State, it’s like everybody should have a garden!” Their garden is home to the fig plant which infuses at least two of APEM’s flavors.
In addition to short and standard cups, pints are available to pick up in-store and by online pre-order. It’s no surprise California has also influenced Jenny and Alex as Jenny grew up in Orange County and the first creamery they opened was Cremeux Ex Machina in the Bay Area. However, Jersey pride is aplenty as Alex hails from Passaic.
MG Pro Tip: selling out is a common occurrence which is no surprise given the owners’ French Culinary Institute training and dedication to innovation, so be sure to go early.
Behind the Scenes
“If I’m not laughing and having a good time, then who cares,” Alex shares as the driving force of APEM. APEM’s Blog provides a behind the scenes look at what else inspires Alex and Jenny and informs their flavors and personalities. For even more behind the scenes, check out “Gelato for the Soul,” an episode from Incurrent Media’s Pursuit series which details Jenny and Alex’s creative process, complimentary dynamic, and dedication to customers, and delicious, unique offerings.
Jenny and Alex also enjoy taking in the beauty of Bloomfield and Montclair by regularly biking to work and hope to encourage safe cycling in the area: “Biking and walking are some of the best things you can do for your body and mind.”
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Run, walk, or cycle to APEM as the creamiest and most flavorful gelato and sorbet await. And, when you least expect it and need it most, an announcement for annual customer appreciation day appears in which short cups are given out for free. APEM values their customers a great deal: “About half of our business is making people happy, and that’s hard and exciting when everyone’s their own unique person. The other half is making ourselves happy. We are so lucky to be in an area where we can try to balance both.” Take a chance on a flavor you never could have dreamt of at APEM Creamery and savor this culinary destination.
“First and foremost, our community engagement is how we act as a business on a daily basis. The everyday interaction is what I’m passionate about. We are all about people living out their daily lives as happily as possible.” Enjoying APEM’s offerings of sweet treats and kindness can certainly contribute to happiness.
Be sure to check out the shop’s Instagram for weekly menus and mesmerizing videos of the swirling process.