By Alana Modi
Clementine’s, the popular ice cream shop on Main Street, appears to have won over more than the locals. The Food Network recently recognized the shop’s “Oatmeal Cookie” ice cream. Truth be told, however, Clementine’s most popular flavor is Cookie Dough. Still, Clementine’s owners Warren and Jess Stenberg are not complaining.
The Food Network reached out to the Sternbergs in March, asking to sample their flavors. Many pints of ice cream later, the network chose the Oatmeal Cookie flavor as Rhode Island’s contribution in their 50 States, 50 Scoops feature.
The Sternbergs named their shop after their dog Clementine, who died a few years ago, but whose legacy lives on through the shop. Warren Stenberg learned the ice cream business while working at Brickley’s in Narragansett. The fact that he has an economics degree has helped as well.
A typical workday for Sternberg starts at 6 a.m., when he visits one of their two locations – the second shop is in Middletown – and starts the ice-cream-making process. They make all their own ice creams. Not surprisingly, July is perhaps the busiest month. Most months, the shop will offer special flavors, but not in July. Things are just too busy.
Not surprisingly, COVID has been challenging for the Sternbergs, especially since they opened up their Middletown shop in 2020, just as pandemic restrictions were being implemented. They saw a drastic decrease in sales, but the virus also offered them an opportunity. They quickly learned how to do online orders which has helped their business even now with restrictions lifted.
For now, the couple plans to focus on their two shops and focus their ice cream flavors. Clearly, their idea of Oatmeal Cookie was a winner.
Alana Modi is a member of the EGHS Class of 2024. She enjoys dancing competitively.