City Beat: 2019 Best of Cincinnati!
In City Beat’s Best of Cincinnati 2019 we were voted #1 for Best Chocolates, #2 for Best Ice Cream and #1 for best Candy Store.
Aglamesis Brothers’ rich, super premium ice creams and deliciously decadent chocolates have been delighting Cincinnatians for well over a century. To this day, our family still uses the same Old World recipes, simple, wholesome ingredients, and traditional confectionery techniques that our ancestors Thomas and Nicholas Aglamesis used when they opened their first parlor here in the Queen City in 1908.
It’s our uncompromising commitment to the authenticity of our products that have made the sweet treats of Aglamesis Brothers a true Cincinnati tradition.
Over the years, Aglamesis Brothers has gained a national reputation for outstanding quality. It has gained accolades for both its ice cream and candy from such nationally recognized media as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The History Channel, The Food Network and Bon Appetite magazines. The Oakley parlor remains virtually unchanged and is considered by many to be one of the very last original ice cream parlors from a bygone era.
We provide a quality product and sincere experience to enrich the lives of our customers.
The story begins during the late 1800’s in the beautiful, Old World countryside outside of Sparta, Greece. It was here that Thomas Aglamesis left his home at age sixteen to seek opportunity. He was the eldest son of his recently deceased father, and Thomas now had the financial responsibility of taking care of his large family. He settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. A year later, his brother Nicholas joined him. The brothers learned the tricks of the ice cream trade working in downtown Cincinnati within the “Old Arcade”. Eventually, they saved up enough money to establish their own business.
The Metropolitan, as it was called in 1908, was their first ice cream parlor, which opened in Norwood, an Eastern Cincinnati community. Thomas and Nicholas churned all of their ice cream flavors by hand in metal cylinders and used rock salt as a freezing agent. They delivered to fashionable Norwood homes, and developed the reputation as having the fastest horse team in town. Soon after the Norwood opening, the brothers added candy making to their list of culinary manufacturing talents.
In 1913, the brothers opened their second location in the Cincinnati community of Oakley. Built with marble imported from Portugal and embellished with exotic Tiffany lamps, tile floors, sculptured ceilings and an authentic player piano, the store was considered a charming gathering place with exquisite ambiance for Cincinnati East-siders even in its earliest days. Nine years later, the brothers added an ice cream plant with modern refrigerated cooling machinery to the Oakley location.
During the depression, Thomas and Nicholas sold The Metropolitan in Norwood, name intact, to colleagues of theirs. It was at this point that their business became known as it is today, Aglamesis Brothers. Through tenacity and lots of hard work, Thomas and Nicholas remained successful through the Depression as well as through World War II, when sugar rationing challenged their production capabilities and curtailed sales growth.
Leadership within the company changed during the 1950’s, when Nicholas passed away and Thomas’ health declined. To continue the tradition, James T. Aglamesis, Thomas’ son, took over the business. While renovation and expansion took place, Jim retained the Old World formulas as well as the tried and true methods of ice cream and candy manufacturing.
After nearly 70 years of leadership, Jim has transitioned oversight to Third and Fourth generation family members who are honored to continue the tradition.