Owners of century-old Italian ice shop seek buyer who will keep the tradition alive

The iconic DiCosmo's Italian Ices shop in Elizabeth sits at or near the top of just about every food critic or food lover's list of the best in New Jersey. The recipes haven’t changed in over a century. But some changes to the business are on the horizon.
“I need to tell people, ‘This could be theirs,’” says co-owner Nancy DiCosmo.
Nancy and John DiCosmo own what is arguably the greatest Italian ice shop New Jersey has ever seen. But they say that it is time for someone else to take over the reins.
“My husband and I are getting old,” Nancy says. “We’re just looking to retire.”
John DiCosmo’s grandparents opened the shop 106 years ago. Many of the people who stopped by more than a century later, still say it is some of the best Italian ices that they have ever had.
The DiCosmos say that they won’t sell the business and adjacent home to just anyone. It needs to go to someone who will keep the business alive.
If this means that they sell off the business tomorrow, great. But if it means that the DiCosmos are still there themselves next summer or the summer after that, they will keep waiting. They say that there is just too much tradition there to see it disappear.
“I love it. I’m a social person and I love it. The kids all tease me, but I love talking to people,” says Nancy.
The owners say that they promise to coach the new owner, including teaching them the recipe John’s grandmother brought from Italy – just fruit, ice and sugar.
And even if the DiCosmos don’t find a buyer for the Elizabeth shop, New Jersey residents will still be able to taste the family recipe. Their daughter has opened a location in Metuchen.