NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) – It’s been gone for more than 20 years, but a local coffee syrup is making a comeback.
“It’s my family business and it was something I wanted to give back,” said owner Ian Abreu.
For generations, Silmo coffee syrup was a staple in New Bedford homes.
“Silmo was created in 1932 by a couple of gentlemen with the last names Silvio and Moraes, and you combine: Silmo,” Abreu said.
Abreu, the New Bedford City Council President, said his grandfather Manny Martin bought the company in 1972 and proudly ran the business on Cove Road.
“My daughter just said, ‘I don’t remember having Silmo syrup when I was little,’ and I said, ‘You’re nuts, of course you had Silmo syrup when you were little,'” customer Cheryl. said Viveiros.
It then changed owners and production ceased in 2001.
“This was the best coffee syrup ever. I actually tried to make mine, but it wasn’t the best recipe,” said longtime customer Norman Fournier.
Only Abreu and his father have that recipe, and their first batch was made last week and sold at a pop-up shop.
“Silmo syrup was organic before it was fresh to be organic,” he explained. “And I like to think we still are in many ways.”
On Saturday morning, 12 News was introduced to the creation of their second batch in the kitchen of Endzone Restaurant.
“You brew a big pot of coffee somehow, and that’s where you get your extract,” Abreu said. “You take your extract, you mix it with cane sugar, and you get the overall product that you have in front of you.”
They brought the second set to a second pop-up store at the Vault Music Hall and Pub where customers like Fournier lined up to buy some.
“I got one to see if it was the same recipe and I think it is. I have 10. I have a big family,” said Fournier.
“My best friend in the world, we grew up here in New Bedford, she now lives in Sun City in Florida and I’m going to send her a bottle,” Viveiros said.
As a city councilor, Abreu has helped small businesses open, even during the pandemic, and now it’s his turn.
“I understand exactly the plight of a small business owner, in terms of regulations, maybe red tape, whatever the case may be,” he said.
Abreu added that the syrup is not only good in ilk, but also in alcoholic drinks in bars.
“They want to buy the product in bulk and put it in their mixed drinks,” he said. “A breakfast place came to me yesterday and said they were thinking of doing Silmo-infused French toast. How cool is that?”