Autumn

“It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.” - Cicero 

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It’s my favorite time of the year. Yeah, business gets slower but it’s damn good gelato making season. Feel it with me. Think of the crisp morning air, the falling leaves, the birds singing, and the rustling of the squirrels sorting around for prime acorns. It’s life at its fullest before the deep sleep and rebirth. And the food gets heavy. Put me in front of a bowl of venison goulash and Tarte Tatin and I’m a happy man. 

Apples, pears, and pumpkins are heavy on my mind. But there’s also cranberries, persimmons, and pomegranates. I hope to make one of my favorite flavors soon: rice pudding ice cream with caramelized apples. There’s a bias clearly, but I’ve never had such a decadent, simple, and hit-your-gut flavor such as that. Sometimes I think I opened this business not because I wanted to make money, but because I was sick and tired of all the shitty ice cream, gelato, and sorbet out there. I love it all too much to leave it in the hands of a bunch of wankers.

I’m mostly a classical type despite occasionally making flavors such as Avocado Coconut or Breakfast At A Jersey Diner. Our Milky Darkness using chocolate made in Switzerland is a prime example. It tastes like where home is and no milkshake with pretzels or donkey balls hanging off the side will ever trump a properly made chocolate. Isn’t life supposed to be simple and bittersweet not awash in cheap accessories? I wish more people could see Gelato through my eyes. 

Autumn manifests all these feelings and experiences. We hope to see you at the store during these cool nights before we close for what is likely going to be a very cold Jersey winter. 

Alex Saneski
Breakfast at a jersey diner

Years ago when we had our gelato business, Cremeux Ex Machina, the life imitates art or the postmodern grab at false authenticity in a society that no longer produces anything was what was in. When I reflect back at those times when I arrived in California I was still very much the east coast kid who only thought of the world in terms of Michelin stars. Alain Ducasse on one end and Alice Waters on the other. So I was very focused on the ingredients since that’s what really pulled me over there. I didn’t care about San Francisco or even the nice weather in Los Angeles. I just wanted good fruit, and instead much of the stuff was kale (it’s disgusting), cereal shit, or too much Johnny do good save the world type crap. 

Mostly what I experienced there was emptiness. You know a culture is a zombie when they turn supplements for your tap water into a million dollar business. Anyway, my point is that years ago I would have never made this flavor Breakfast At A Jersey Diner. With all my gelato business experiences in California and my own personal changes I’ve moved back to Jersey and I’m just about a good laugh. Tricksters and Jokers are my muse. I thought it would be funny to make a rye flavor for Rosh Hosannah and it ended up being rye, cinnamon, nutmeg, caraway, and maple syrup. It tasted like a fucking thing I’d eat at Tick Tock. I used to be a serious guy but now I’m just about making whatever is good by any means necessary within my own world view. 

Alex Saneski
Customer appreciation day in review

Sunday was our Customer Appreciation Day where we gave out free short cups and cones. Once in a while it’s important to do that because making gelato isn’t totally about the business of making money. You do it because it’s something you want to share. And it’s a way for me to connect with customers and see their choices in a carefree environment. 


We didn’t really know what to expect, but when I saw that line at 12:50pm I looked at my cousin Randy and had a laugh. I know I’m usually stoic or even borderline mean-mug, but that’s just my Passaic face. Where I come from, you walk around with a smile you about to get your shoes stolen right off your feet, son. What I’m saying is that I’m a typical North Jersey kid; underneath that tough exterior I’m actually a nice guy. Unless you cross me, that is.

 
I had a really good time slanging out the gelato for everyone and haven’t done that much scooping since my time at Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Jenny actually took over in the back doing some prep work for the coming week. So it was a nice change for the both of us. 

Lastly it was cool to do this because we are shifting from Summer to Autumn. It gives this air of cleaning house and getting ready for a different mood. Autumn is my favorite time of the year and hopefully we can have some fun stuff up until Thanksgiving. 

Alex Saneski
Pacific Ocean

We had a great summer but needed a short break. Usually for trips, Jenny and I try to go somewhere new. But this time around we decided on somewhere familiar which is California. I have a love-hate relationship with the place but not with the ocean. In fact it may be the only thing that makes it bearable for me. And I love the Pacific Ocean. I grew up going to the Shore and hanging at the beach, but the Pacific is just something else. Some days in some parts it’s so peaceful. The sound is like a lullaby. And in some other parts it’s a constant roar that will crush you. I was lucky enough to live in several parts of the state. I lived near where Tomales Bay and the Pacific meet and near Santa Monica Bay. My favorite part of the country is still that part of the coast north of Santa Monica and south of Carmel. There are so many nice places in America, but I enjoy the mountains along the coast where the towns are barely hanging on without falling into the Pacific. Some great driving too. All that said, I’m ready to come back to New Jersey and make some stuff for you guys. And Jenny says hi. 

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Alex Saneski
Two Months In

I appreciate everyone who has consistently come by the store. Opening a business these days is nuts with an endless assault of bullshit from dealing with getting open, ordering ingredients, to the insane questions we get asked. At least we don’t get questions about soft serve anymore. Why bother making Gelato then. It’s not even the same league of product. Go to Italy and ask for some soft serve then go ask for some pizza with pineapple on it and let’s see how fast one can run. 

The first few weeks were brutal. We were trying to figure people out and vice versa. And it took a while for both Jenny and I to get comfortable in the store. I was paranoid about our place just being some generic Gelato and Ice Cream place. I moved back to Jersey for a reason and that was partially to be the half snarky sarcastic asshole and half waspy non-wasp that I am that couldn’t exist in passive aggressive neurotic California. I love making this stuff and feel like I’ve grown into my own way of doing things. And it really feels at home here. I can make some really refined flavors and call them something snarky and its fine. We also know the things we will never do no matter the trends. I know whats good. I’ve been doing this for a long time despite my age and thanks to my mother and grandmother along with my culinary and experience living abroad I have a decent palate. I purposely avoid going to other gelato and ice cream places or even looking on social media. I live in my own gelato world. 

Thanks, Alex

Alex Saneski
The Store

We wanted to thank our architect, Jeff Jordan Architects LLC, for realizing the design of the store here in Bloomfield. I always imagined our gelato store to feel very ascetic because everything to me is very quasi-religious and I love minimalism whether through a Zen or Nordic mind. We also worked with Jeff to achieve what we call a “Stone and Leather” aesthetic and that is because I wanted something more masculine. He and his crew definitely achieved all that and more.

 And we would also like to thank our contractor, Mitchell MacGregor, and his crew for building out the store. They did a fantastic job transforming it from paper to reality.

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paul rea
From CEM to APEM

Our previous business was Cremeux Ex Machina (calgelato.com) and when we started it I had a specific set of goals and ambitions. In my 20s I had a lot to prove to myself. From actually being on an organic farm with a specific type of milk and cow, to a small batch machine, to pasteurizing, and to buying direct from small farms there was always some element to double down on.

 APEM is in another world. We hope to build up relationships with small farms here that grow really great fruits and ingredients to really embrace them in the moment. That being said I doubt it will ever encompass the whole package like Cremeux Ex Machina did because this area is less about ideology and more about the end product.

 APEM now is a settled project. I’m in my 30s and I’m less about the grandiose and ambition and more about embracing what I have and enjoying myself. Ironically, my time in the Bay Area just brought out the Jersey in me.

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paul rea
Bloomfield

The road to our store was a long one that weaved between Clifton, Montclair, and East Village until eventually ending up here. Bloomfield as a town is in transition like many towns in New Jersey. It has the old school Jersey, the spill over from places like Montclair, and a growing influence from those leaving the city. But it just has a good vibe as far as people go. All these things made Bloomfield a solid choice since I felt it a town where APEM can be multiple things without much contradiction. It’s on Broad Street but not in the thick of everything where we get lost. In my head I always wanted the outside to remind me something of corner bodegas like in my hometown Passaic or a scene from the movie Clerks and on the inside it’s mostly modern. I think we are in a good place for our first store to serve a wide variety of people.

paul rea