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Here’s the scoop: Boca Raton getting its own Larry’s Ice Cream

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 5/16/2022 Rod Stafford Hagwood, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

There are generations of people in Coral Springs who know Larry’s Ice Cream, an eatery that’s been there since 1986.

Over the past few years, longtimers have seen the brand blossom, with the opening of an open-air Larry’s Cafe at Coral Springs Auto Mall across the street and the popularity of buzzworthy TikTok videos that have earned a total of 9.1 million likes.

Now comes news that the brand is branching out with a third location — dubbed Larry’s Ice Cream & Cafe — at St. Andrews Plaza (near Town Center mall) in Boca Raton, hopefully debuting by mid-June.

“The menu will be a little different ... with our Refreshers [signature glittery drinks] a little more on the glowy, blingy side, kind of like Boca itself,” says Janet McGinnis, who has owned Larry’s since 2018. “We are also doing sweet crepes as well as savory crepes. So yeah, I think Boca has its own vibe to it, so we will too.”

Aside from 64 flavors of ice cream as well as shakes, sundaes, cookie skillets (warm cookies topped with ice cream) and various other desserts, the new Boca Raton cafe will offer similar fare to the Coral Springs cafe with dishes such as sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and chicken tenders in waffle cones.

But there will also be a gourmet take on comfort food with silver dollar waffles, home-style breakfast sandwiches, Cuban sandwiches, Philly cheesesteaks, bacon/egg/cheese quesadillas and the aforementioned crepes.

But that’s not all McGinnis has planned:

  • Around the same time the Boca Raton venue bows, she plans to roll out Larry’s Ice Cream Food Truck throughout the tricounty region.
  • A second dealership cafe, this one at the Infiniti of Coconut Creek, is expected to debut this summer.
  • And there are plans for a bright-pink delivery golf cart taking Larry’s Ice Cream & Cafe’s desserts and dishes to other dealerships along Sample Road.

The partnering with dealerships started out with McGinnis agreeing to a pop-up at Coral Springs Auto Mall back in 2019.

“It’s literally across the street,” she says. “It’s like five dealerships. I worked something out with the operation manager ... who had mentioned that there was this void they wanted to fill, and I had added the food element that we were doing [at the ice cream parlor]. It took off. It really did. I was there every day for the first year, and I enjoyed working there every day.”

It’s the kind of work she feels is a good fit — though few might have guessed it knowing that, before she dove into the food and beverage biz, she spent 25 years in the financial service industry in the New Jersey/New York area.

“But inside there was always the creator,” McGinnis recalls. “I was always cooking something, baking something. We threw tons of parties. I once made this casino in the backyard beside my pool. I was always the Martha Stewart of the group. But when you can’t create and you’re creative, it’s stifling.”

So in 2018, she purchased Larry’s Ice Cream, which was founded by Larry Kirian out of the St. Petersburg, Fla., area. (There were several subsequent owners, including Michael and Karen Mancuso, who sold it to McGinnis.) In the ‘80s, Larry’s Ice Cream & Yogurt (or Larry’s Olde Fashioned Ice Cream) franchises opened up throughout Florida.

“I just feel that things put themselves in front of me for a reason. I didn’t blink; I just went,” she says. “I’m in love with what I do. I obsess over all of it. I can’t sleep without checking Larry’s on social media and seeing what’s out there ... what’s new and fresh. I’m always looking.”

It naturally follows that McGinnis has put a lot of energy into making TikTok videos, taking her cues from the Food Network.

“There was this show where they show you how [different foods] are made, the facilities and the manufacturing of it. I thought that was a good idea, that we get to show how we do it,” she says. “I even call it ‘The Show.’ We’re an old-timey parlor. We make all the desserts in front of you, so we show that on TikTok.”

And 520,000 followers gobble up the videos.

“We get people from Australia, Germany and everywhere in between ... all kinds of people,” she adds. “It’s another source of creativity. And it’s engaging with the younger staff.”

That’s one of the reasons McGinnis says she chose St. Andrews Plaza for the new Boca Raton version of Larry’s — the proximity to Florida Atlantic University’s young students as well as the families in nearby suburbs.

“That location is hopping,” she says. “It’s right outside of the Boca Town Center and, every time you go there, it just has a buzz going on. There’s a lot going on in the area itself. It just met all the needs.”

Larry’s Ice Cream & Cafe will be located at 21090 St. Andrews Blvd., Boca Raton. For more information, go to

©2022 South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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