Customization appears to be a running trend among dessert retailers, and at the New York City pop-up Smush, visitors are allowed to put their unique spin on a classic frozen treat. Just like any delicatessen, Smush creates sandwiches behind a counter, and customers can request their favorite fillings and toppings. However, this concept takes a sweet turn as bread comes in the form of cookies, and ice cream and fudge are layered in between.
Smush’s first pop-up was located in Bryant Park, and according to owner Brett Lavender, people immediately responded. The shop’s overall ambiance, along with a clever brand name and an original idea, works well with people of all backgrounds and ages, and has allowed Smush to acquire a cult-following.
With this success, the initial pop-up relocated to Union Square, and Smush is now looking to expand into shopping centers and malls. Lavender says, “Smush can go in any facility, indoor or outdoor. Its mobility allows it to work in transportation hubs, vacation destinations, amusement parks, and movie theaters.” When asked where he sees Smush in five years, Lavender responded, “Worldwide, without a doubt.”
The innovation that Smush brings to the dessert industry could certainly propel global expansion. Lavender states, “Because of the the nature of this deli concept, customers can create so many things.” Constructing a “Smush” begins with choosing from a variety of bread-shaped cookies, and selecting either chocolate or vanilla ice cream as the filling. Condiments range from nutella, caramel, and marshmallow spread, and the sandwich is finished off with toppings like sliced fudge, crushed pretzels, potato chips and fruit, before it is smushed down, and sliced in half.
Since opening, Smush has relied on news media to bring in new customers, but for the most part, buzz about the store has been generated organically. Smush does utilize Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and use of these social media tools is set to increase as the store expands. Lavender firmly believes that Smush is heading completely upward, and “anyone that gets involved is bound to see success.”