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New Hyde Park sisters own childhood haunt

Aurora Hirschfeld, middle, with her sisters Maria Masi,

Aurora Hirschfeld, middle, with her sisters Maria Masi, l., and Gina Masi. The three own Sundae Palace in New Hyde Park and share a love not only for chocolate but for the store, which they used to shop at as children. (July 9, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Gina Masi’s passion for Sundae Palace in New Hyde Park goes back 31 years, when she penned a Kidsday story on her favorite ice cream shop. Little did she know that she would someday own the business.

Soon after her story appeared, Sundae Palace switched gears and became a chocolate shop. About three years ago Gina, 41, and her two sisters, Aurora Hirschfeld, 38 and Maria Masi, 44, purchased the shop from original owner Nancy Blum. The siblings had always been chocolatiers and frequented the shop for supplies, so it only seemed natural to go into business.

“It feels like it was meant to be from the very beginning,” said Hirschfeld, who manages the daily operation of the shop since Maria and Gina Masi each work full-time in the financial industry. “I remember the first time we saw it [when we were young]. We were very excited about it opening, and we lived so close.”

The trio has attracted many unique customers, with many unique requests. Among them are Winnie Myers, 64, and her uncle, Eddie Hayden. The two frequent the shop so often that for Hayden’s 85th birthday the sisters created the “Uncle Eddie Bar,” which, to Hayden’s liking, consists of the shop’s finest milk chocolate and nothing else. Myers has a more diverse palate, enjoying chocolate with almonds and cherry cordials. She is also working with the shop on a new energy bar that will utilize milk chocolate, trail mix and some other ingredients.

“This is the best chocolate place in town,” Myers said. “They just do excellent work.”

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