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Lily’s, a new Delray Beach scoop shop, dishes out creamy house-made frozen treats

Elise and Ronen Gilinsky serve up a cone at Lily’s Homemade Ice Cream

Baklava and speculoos cookie flavored ice creams, among other inventive flavors, are made by a former Israeli military cook and dished out by his parents in suburban Delray Beach. Indonesian vanilla and Belgian chocolate are key ingredients.

By ALAN J. WAX

It’s all in the family at Lily’s Handmade Ice Cream in suburban Delray Beach.

Ori Gilinsky

This recently opened 50’s style ice cream shop is more than a mom-and-pop operation churning out dense, richly flavored frozen treats. Besides, mom Elise Gilinsky, and dad, Ronen Gilinsky, both of whom can be found daily behind the counter at this brightly decorated pink and turquoise shopping center storefront, there is their son Ori, who concocts the more than a dozen flavors of frozen treats that Lily’s sells on any given day. The store is named after the Gilinsky’s daughter, Noa Lily, who also is responsible for the wall décor.

Some of the flavors at Lily’s

Located in the Delray Beach strip center at Linton Boulevard and Military Trail called Boca Ray Plaza, but known to most as the home of Poppie’s Delicatessen, Lily’s Homemade Ice Cream opened in September. It offers a panoply of naturally-flavored hard ice creams with such unexpected mix-ins as baklava, Belgian Biscoff speculoos cookies, bananas, marshmallows, sweet potatoes and more.

And, yes, they also serve plain vanilla and chocolate, the former made with complexly flavored Indonesian vanilla — known for its fruity and woodsy notes — and the latter with rich 70% cacao Belgian chocolate. They make their own hot fudge topping, waffle cones, whipped cream and cookies. Also on the menu are espressos, cappuccinos and lattes supplied by Italian coffee roaster Illy.

The Gilinskys, an American-Israeli couple, began planning the shop more than a year ago after moving from Beersheba, Israel, where, they said, missiles frequently rained down on them. Ronen sold high-end professional bicycles in Israel, and today also operates a mobile bike repair service. Elise and Ronen met at a Livingston, NJ, kosher pizzeria. The family also spent time in Baltimore before going to Israel 14 years ago. Their ice cream shop plans, however, were dealt a setback by pandemic-related issues.

They finally opened Lily’s during the second week of September, allowing their son, Ori, 22, to begin using the kitchen skills that he learned while serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. He makes most of the ice cream, while Ronen makes the vanilla, hot fudge sauce, and hand-rolled waffle cones; Elise makes the baked goods.

Customers might be put off by Lily’s relatively high prices. A generously filled two-scoop cone or cup goes for $6.50, a single scoop $4.95. Add a dollar for waffle cone. Toppings, of course, can run up the price.

The Gilinskys justify it, explaining that they only uses top-line, natural ingredients (except for a one-off Halloween flavor). Mint chocolate chip, for example, is not green from food coloring, but white, and flavored with bits of Andes Mints. The Indonesian vanilla Lily’s uses costs $242 a gallon and Belgian 70% chocolate wholesales for more than $9 a pound, per a Google search.

Menu price board

Flavor selections

The most popular flavors, thus far, are Dusty Monkey, a blend of fresh bananas and Biscoff cookies, and SoFlo Swamp, chocolate ice cream with bits of Oreos and chocolate chips.

The varieties that I sampled were, indeed, amply flavored, dense and creamy.

The vanilla is complex. The dusty monkey tasted of fresh bananas dusted with cinnamon. The SoFlo Swamp was redolent of rich chocolate.

While the flavors are whimsical, the Gilinsky’s operation is not. As Ronen told me, “We’re homemade ice cream and we take it very seriously.”

Lily’s Handmade Ice Cream

4900 Linton Blvd, Delray Beach, FL 33445

561-501-4301

Lilyshandmadeicecream.com

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