More than just ice cream

Its Bloomfield storefront would suggest nothing other than a nearly vacant lot except for the umbrellaed cart positioned directly in front of its staircase, and an employee occasionally chirping “Ice cream for sale.”

Daisy’s Banana Stand, a recent addition to Bloomfield’s Liberty Avenue sprawl, exists only in that cart. While it has the potential to expand into much more, its large umbrella presents the front and main selling point. Daisy’s Banana Stand, which opened this spring, is run by Ben Balik, a recent University of Pittsburgh graduate whose intentions are in the right place — the business is less about making money and more about serving customers, making good ice cream, and giving everyone a pleasant experience.

While it serves classic selections like vanilla and chocolate, Daisy’s Banana Stand also offers homemade flavors such as kiwi, sour cherry, berry, espresso, and peach.

The stand never overflows with people, which contributes to its laid-back atmosphere. Its summer customer base consisted primarily of people from the area of Bloomfield just passing by. Daily, kids and people on their lunch breaks from work visited the stand to get their fills of the delicious frozen treats. All in all, the supporters were a diverse crowd.
A summer employee of the Banana Stand described the experience of working there as enjoyable and relaxing. This relaxing environment is what makes Daisy’s Banana Stand different from other businesses. It has a vendor vibe, the owner serving and working to please the customer. Its cart serves as an introduction, as Balik hopes to install an awning and bring more business into the interior of the shop. Overall, the ice cream is great, the atmosphere is laid-back, and the employees are friendly.

This can hardly be said for most ice cream franchises. Flavors are generic, employees have no investment in the actual business, and the establishments are cut from identical molds. Even Cold Stone Creamery, which allows the customer to imagine their own creations, cannot compare to the homemade treats and charm of the Banana Stand.

At Daisy’s, the interest is in the customer being happy. People should go there to get unique and good flavors created from scratch. The atmosphere welcomes each and every customer, giving the experience a unique and personal feel. And if that’s not enough, Daisy’s is hip and the place to be for a cool treat.

From the ice cream seller’s charm to Balik’s hard work, Daisy’s Banana Stand is almost guaranteed to be a success. The prices are beyond reasonable with an ice cream cone only costing around $2.

“What makes the Banana Stand great is that it’s like the ice cream shop you and your friends would open if you came into a bit of money and knew how to make really amazing kiwi ice cream,” said Marjorie Vujnovich, a summer employee at Daisy’s.