New Middlefield ice cream shop helps patrons deal with the summer heat



A new ice cream shop opened in Middlefield to help you beat the summer heat. Rich Farm Ice Cream offers a variety of 25 daily flavors, which include vegan, dairy-free and no-sugar-added options.

Located just off the Interstate 691 corridor, Jill Serra and her husband, Jason, own and operate this shop. The shop has been open for a little over two weeks and has already become a popular spot in town. 

How the shop got started

Rich Farm Ice Cream opened for business on July 3, 1994, by David and Dawn Rich on Ajello’s Farm. The farm that the shop ran from originated five generations ago by Dave’s great-grandfather, Raffaele Ajello, on Great Hill in Seymour.

All of the ice cream was made daily on the farm and became a franchise in 2012 so that individuals could have their own locations.

Other locations include Oxford, Bristol and Brookfield and also Placentia, Calif.

How the Middlefield location opened

Jill Serra and her husband live in East Hampton and have been looking for a location to open a shop for over four years.

“We needed space and a place for parking for what we needed,” Serra said. “We didn’t find anything in the East Hampton and Portland area, so we expanded our area, which landed us here in Middlefield.”

Serra said the area brings over 2,000 cars a day, and they put up the biggest sign the town allows.

“We’re in a pretty busy spot, which is great,” Serra said.

Some of the popular flavors of the shop so far include coffee and cookie dough. Samples are always available if patrons want to try a particular flavor.

The shop is open seven days a week. Though Serra said that they had to close for a day because they sold out of everything.

A long day of ice cream

Serra comes in early in the morning to start making ice cream and often doesn’t finish until 11 p.m.

Previously, Serra was in the corporate field and said she needed a change.

“I used to visit the Oxford location as I lived in Seymour, which is right next door,” Serra said. “I have been going there since they opened.”

When she was visiting her parents in Seymour, she came across a franchise-owning sign at the ice cream shop and thought that was something she could do.

“It was a long search to get to where we are, and it was a long process, but we stuck through it, and here we are,” Serra said.

While she doesn’t miss the corporate work, she does miss her kids because she spends so much time at the shop. Her three boys often come to the shop to visit.

“It has been great so far, and the community has been supportive,” Serra said. “We are thankful to be in such a wonderful town.”

Lori Depietro of Middlefield said it was her first time visiting with her friend, Crystal Hintz of Portland. It was also Hintz’s first time.

“This is delicious and very good,“ Depietro said. “I got a cup of chocolate chip ice cream with sprinkles.”

Hintz enjoyed a toasted almond and butter crunch ice cream with hot fudge and marshmallow sauce.

Rich Farm Ice Cream is located at 1 Lorraine Terrace, off I-691, and is open seven days a week from noon to 9 p.m.

nzappone@record-journal.com203-317-2212



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