Tony Crankovic may be a case study in putting the cart before the horse. As a salesman traveling through the Midwest, Crankovic became obsessed with frozen custard and decided he wanted to open his own shop.
In 2008, he bought a plot of land near some railroad tracks (hence the name Custard Crossing) in the North Hills. Later, he purchased a 52,000-pound building and had it moved from Youngstown, Ohio, to Wexford. Then, while in Indiana state, he came across a Ritter's Frozen Custard stand that was closing, and promptly purchased a three-barreled custard machine for a song.
"I called my wife and said, ‘We're in the custard business,'" says Crankovic. "The problem now was, we didn't know anything about making custard." They learned the nuances of frozen custard from others in the business, and sourced mixes, flavorings and other products from Midwestern suppliers. The North Hills location was scrapped (for now), and the Crankovics opened a shop at the Waterfront, in Homestead, in 2010. In May, Custard Crossing moved to its new location there, near P.F. Chang's.
It's not ice cream: Frozen custard is an egg-based dairy product that is thicker, denser, smoother and creamier than its more popular cousin. The store offers chocolate and vanilla custard daily, as well as rotating specialty flavors. Frozen yogurt is also available.
"It was a little crazy how we got started," Crankovic says, "but it's working out."
412- 461-1223 or www.custardcrossing.com