Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Karuso’s shaking things up

Published:Thursday | November 11, 2021 | 12:05 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
From left: Kevin Livingston, Jeffrey Azan, Treshana Bailey, Ajene Robinson and Kirk Livingston. Seated in the comfortable Karuso swing are Kerece Goulbourne and Taneishia Richards.
Karuso team member Treshana Bailey pours all her focus into this cup of speciality coffee.
Ice cream cookie sandwiches are made with whatever cookies are in store.
These treats are a Karuso novelty and this young sugar chaser went for an oatmeal raisin cookie filled with pistachio ice cream covered in chocolate chips.
Check out the milkshake menu which has options for the entire family.
The Purple Crumble milkshake is a surprise in every slurp.
The Creamy Frappe is a crowd favourite.
Karuso’s milkshakes are your speciality because you choose the flavour.
Nine-year-old Alana Thomas indulged in a strawberry, chocolate swirl shake after school.
Karuso supports pastry makers across the Kingston Corporate Area and customers will find decadent treats like these raspberry cheesecake squares on the menu every now and again.
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The milkshake was an iconic symbol for sweetness, bonding and young love in 1970s to 1990s pop culture films. For the owners of Karuso, a new establishment that is shaking things up in the heart of Kingston’s shopping promenade, milkshakes are the retro comfort food that families can get creative with.

Identical twins Kirk and Kevin Livingston say the concept of Karuso is to use passion to remind people of good and bring smiles to faces.

“We’ve all been stuck within our four walls, getting used to hearing bad news day in, day out, and people need something that will make them feel the urge to come out of the house. Yes, mind you, people have become health-conscious, but part of that must focus on wellness and not enough emphasis is being put on mental well-being, and we believe our brand inspires that sense of peace within families,” Kevin told Food.

Kirk chimed in, “One of the strongest things about being a twin is that from birth, you know the value of having that one person with you by your side. And we want to give customers that shared type of happiness, knowing you have a home away from home, one that you can come to and bond over a milkshake, or any sweet treat for that matter.”

GET CREATIVE

Karuso is serving up some saccharine and savoury delights, from cake and cookies to coffee and ice cream. The best part is, every flavour of ice cream that Karuso stocks is a creation waiting to happen with the establishment’s ‘Shake Your Way’ menu feature. And these are Devon House-made ice creams, so imagine a delicious traditional favourite like grape nut or rum and raisin or a modern fusion of strawberry cheesecake and pistachio flavours, topped off with some chocolate chip cookies. Now, that’s a sugar fix that would be hard to resist.

Signature milkshake flavours on the menu include the Karuso Purple Crumble, which could possibly beat the iconic American classic Purple Cow milkshake, Creamy Frappe, Oreo and a range of coffee-spiced milkshakes. Shakes are also made from milk and coffee mixes. If you are in the mood for something stronger, there are seven coffee cocktails made with a combination of Strawberry Hill dark roast beans percolated to perfection and a selection of alcoholic beverages from rum creams to vodkas that will no doubt shake up anyone’s day.

“The focus of Karuso is an experience. We want our customers to get creative and feel comfortable knowing they can exercise that creativity. We want to embody customer service and satisfaction … it is paramount to us that our customers feel treated and welcomed,” Kevin shared. Located inside the busy Tropical Plaza, its décor matches the playful and colourful menu, retrofitted with a wooden bench swing that has most children, and even adults, are eager to enter.

The brothers retained the expertise of business strategist and professional development coach Jeffrey Azan who says that the team is working to make Karuso “a hallmark of a new generation of business”.

“I was adamant from the beginning that we will make a profit but that if we put the dollar above the people, then we are only creating a problem when the business should be the beginning of a societal solution. It was made for the people, not just to sell a product,” Azan added.

There are plans in the pipeline to expand the menu with more signature milkshake recipes on paper, but for now, the Karuso team is having fun watching people create their favourite flavours.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com