Business Owner:Domingo HandalJuly, 2005
So where can you go for the best ice cream in Jersey City? For 30 years, longtime Heights residents have given testament that the best ice cream in town is at the little ice cream shop at 290 Central Avenue. Known as Amourville Ice Cream today, this shop produces and sells some of the best ice cream and ice cream cakes in the Heights. This year Domingo Handal of Amourville Ice Cream celebrates his 40th year anniversary doing business on Central Avenue. As one of the longest running businessmen on Central Avenue (if not the longest) Domingo has distinguished himself in both the business and neighborhood community of the Jersey City Heights.
Though he was born in Honduras 1929, Handal was raised with his four brothers and two sisters in Bethlehem “Jesus Town” Palestine. As a young entrepreneur, Domingo successful business ventures have led him to live in places such as Iraq, Kuwait, New York, and eventually New Jersey. It wasn’t until 1974 that Domingo gave up his export business for what would become a very popular and well remembered Ice Cream shop. Getting out of the franchise business in 1994, Domingo would rename the ice cream shop Amourville ice cream (translated from French meaning “Love Town”).
Having only a grammar school education, Domingo started life as an entrepreneur whose ambition has led him to travel the world. He speaks fluent English, Arabic, Spanish, and some Korean thanks to his Central Avenue colleague and longtime friend Michael Yun (Garden State News). In addition to his 40th year anniversary in Jersey City, Domingo also celebrated his golden 50 year wedding anniversary on April 17th with his beautiful wife Linda Hazboun-Handal. They have been blessed with five (5) wonderful children (Vida, Vera, Florence, David, and Tina) and thirteen (13) gorgeous grandchildren.
During his 40 years on Central Avenue, Domingo has remained active in the Jersey City Heights community. Before a “Special Improvement District” (SID) organization was formed, Domingo volunteered his time as President of the “Independent Merchants of Central Avenue” association. This association solicited donations to decorate the Avenue during the holidays. In 1992, Domingo was actively involved in establishing an SID organization for the Central Avenue business district. Today, Domingo serves in his thirteenth (13th) year volunteering as Vice President South on the CASID Board of Trustees. “Domingo is so committed to the Heights that often times he sacrifices his own business to contribute to community events,” says colleague Michael Yun of 366 Central Avenue. “Even during peak business hours Domingo does not hesitate to place a “will return soon” sign on the window, close his doors, and run out to an important community meeting.”
Make no mistake; Domingo Handal is a small town hero. He is one of the few remaining typical businessmen of a past generation. Though he has fought hard to stand up for the community, he is known as a true gentleman. When asked if retirement was in his near future, he was quick to reply “Retirement will only slow me down. I intend to continue my work in the Heights by supplying the best flavors of ice cream and cakes in town for a very long time!”
(Like Mr. Handal, there are many interesting and important people on Central Avenue that have contributed significantly to the local community. Do you have a Central Avenue Merchant in mind that you would like to see in the next Central Avenue Spotlight? Let us know with an email.)
Editor's Note: Domingo Handal retired and sold the business in 2010. The business name was changed to Dahlia's Ice Cream Spot. Jersey City is eternally grateful for all Domingo's hard work and dedication to making Central Avenue one of the premier business districts in the region.