The Culture of Rice To Riches

Rice to Riches

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By Michelle Alerte, Featured Style Writer

Ever seen the scene from the hit movie Hitch, where lovely Eva Mendes confesses her feelings for the fun-filled professional “date doctor” played by Will Smith over a delicious bowl of rice pudding?

If so, then you’ve seen the inside of the popular desert shop located just north of Little Italy.

Recently I spoke with Tom Costello, the Director of Operations at Rice to Riches, to get the nitty-gritty on exactly how the culture of the business created its success.From the first moment you step into the space, bright, sleek, and funny signage work to catch and draw your eye. Whether it be a sign informing you that: Rice to Riches is what Willis was talking about, alongside a picture of a young Gary Coleman; or the multi-flavored rice pudding options settled within sleek white containers, Rice to Riches is sure to leave not only your taste buds tingling but your sense of style too. The culture of the business surrounds two core elements: an attitude and a look.

In creating and capturing the attitude of a Rice to Riches customer the owner Peter Moceo, has filled the store with signage. These saying, whether through laughter or offense, generate a reaction. If you are a Rice to Riches fan then you’ll likely enjoy reading the statement: These premises are occupied by compulsively obsessed dessert loving people with no self-control or discipline. And why shouldn’t you be amused. If you find yourself, more often than not, sidling along the Rice to Riches line mixing and matching an assortment of delicious flavors then, let’s face it, it’s a good day to be called “compulsively obsessed” and “desert loving”. The signage allows for an energy so customers can connect with more than just the great tasting treats. Even Tom still has a good laugh every time.

Keeping the store uniformly displayed in oval shapes–to resemble a grain of rice, from the containers, to the signage, to the very entrance, gives a symmetry of lines that is visually appealing. The bright reds, yellows, greens, and browns of the rice pudding, menu, spoons, and take-out bowls add pops of color against a predominantly white background. Places to stand, at circular white and yellow tables, and chat as you eat compliment the rich brown leather booth seating and hanging tables in the corner giving customers the option to eat and run or kick up their feet and stay awhile. As any customer would agree the appeal of food is not only in the taste but also in the presentation, and at Rice to Riches you’ll enjoy aesthetics in spades.

These elements combined with the standard fifteen amazing flavors, including Sex Drugs and Rocky Road and Almond Shmalmond, along with the five or six seasonal options offered up at Rice to Riches, speaks to why celebrities from Fatima Ptacek, the current voice of Dora the Explorer, to Kelly Ripa have been known to drop by and rave about the desert selections. Kelly Ripa in particular loves the unlimited samples you can taste before making your mix and matched, solo, or toppings heavy choice. I second that Mrs. Ripa. Although Tom has heard the comment, “I don’t like rice pudding,” often enough, experience has thought him that you haven’t tried rice pudding until you’ve tried Rice to Riches. The look, feel, and flavors all conspire to say: Come, Enjoy, Indulge.

For More Information:

Rice to Riches
37 Spring St., New York, NY 10012

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