In 1952, the Freehold staple, Jersey Freeze, was founded. Created by the Blackmore family, the establishment originally was just known for their ice cream, before expanding in the 1970s to serve fast food. At the time, the Blackmore’s specialized in soft serve ice cream: chocolate, vanilla or swirled. The restaurant was a go to spot for everything sweet and salty.
One of Jersey Freeze’s biggest fans is Bruce Springsteen. During a concert at MetLife stadium in August 2016, Springsteen reminisced to the crowd how, “When I was a kid, I didn’t like chocolate or vanilla, I just liked the cones. So the guy used to save all the broken cones for me.”
This “guy” was none other than Jersey Freeze founder Carlton Blackmore.
To this day, Springsteen continues to be a fan of and make frequent visits to the ice cream establishment. At the 10th Annual Stand Up for Heroes benefit, he auctioned off a trip to Jersey Freeze in a 1967 Cadillac, a signed guitar and his mothers lasagna. The winning bid was $280,000 which all went to help veterans.
Blackmore expanded Jersey Freeze four times until he retired in Juno Beach, FL.
The Jersey Freeze founder passed away at age 99 on Nov. 17.
Fast forward to 2014, the son of Carlton Blackmore turned the eatery over to former Jersey Freeze manager Katie Dinonno and Matt Cangialosi upon seeking retirement. In 2020, the duo opened another Jersey Freeze location at Bell Works in Holmdel, NJ.
In an interview with This Is Jersey with Gary Gellman, Dinonno states that what makes Jersey Freeze standout amongst others is the amount of soft serve they provide, which is all made from scratch along with their hard ice cream. The soft serve flavors include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, chocolate covered banana and pistachio. There is also sugar free soft serve, fat free and non-dairy soft serve. In addition, there is a wide array of hard ice cream flavors, ranging from peach, toasted coconut, cannoli and s'mores.
Along with their normal ice cream cones and cups, Dinonno states that ice cream cakes are a bestseller. Made right in house, they also serve ice cream cupcakes, sandwiches, pies and bon bons. Some of their most popular items ordered daily are their ice cream sundaes, shakes and floats, which come in an array of flavors chock full of different toppings. Some of these unique combinations that customers can order are the Strawberry Pound Cake, the Peanut Butter Fluff, Campfire S'mores and Brownie Treat. There is also always a shake of the month, featuring a unique combination of ice cream and toppings. This month's shakes are the Fun Funfetti Cake Pop shake and the Triple Chocolate Cake Pop Shake–loaded with sprinkles, homemade whipped cream and topped with cake pops.
Beyond the ice cream and the sundaes is the regular food menu at Jersey Freeze. The eatery serves a number of food options to satisfy everyone who visits. There are a number of Jersey favorites, as listed on their menu, such as the Hot Honey Chicken Basket, which contains two fried chicken sandwiches, hot honey and pickles on a potato roll. Other favorites include the pulled pork grilled cheese and the Jersey Melt, which is a beef burger with swiss cheese and bacon grilled on rye. There is also a wide variety of wraps, salads, sandwiches, burgers, wings and sides to choose from; you can truly enjoy something new every time you visit.
However, no New Jersey restaurant would be complete without pork roll, and Jersey Freeze keeps the menu full of it. The Jersey Giant, considered a Jersey Favorite, is a burger with pork roll, cheese and fried onions served on a hard roll. You can also order a Breakfast Burger where you can add pork roll, a fried egg and cheese. Customers can also order just a pork roll sandwich, where they can choose from a variety of toppings such as jalapenos, mushrooms, onions and even cheese.
Whether it is for the pork roll or the ice cream sundaes, Jersey Freeze is a must for everything sweet and salty. If it is Bruce Springsteen’s favorite, then how could it not be worth the visit?