Summer in Stowe village just got sweeter with the addition of two ice cream offerings.
Café on Main now offers creemees, and Cristina Mink, who owns Country Store on Main, opened the doors at Stowe Sweets Friday afternoon.
When Mink learned two popular Stowe ice cream spots, Depot Street Malt Shop and Stowe Ice Cream, had closed, she and husband Graham felt the impact at home.
“I looked at my husband and said, ‘How are we going to get our kids to eat dinner in the summertime?’ We bribe them with ice cream,” Mink said with a laugh.
When Brenna B Interiors chose not to renew its lease, Mink realized she wanted to use the space to open an ice cream venture of her own.
Stowe Sweets offers 14 flavors of hard ice cream and two flavors of sorbet, and Mink says as more equipment arrives, it will also offer creemees, milkshakes, flurries and sundaes.
Stowe Sweets is a family venture. The Minks’ kids, Gunnar, 9, and Livia, 7, will help out too.
Mink decorated the shop in bubblegum pink and mint green, and says her staff is helping her learn as she goes, since she’s never operated a food-service business before.
So far, customers have seemed pleased.
“People have come in the door and numerous people have said, ‘Thank you for opening, we’re so sad about the Malt Shop and (Stowe Ice Cream) and we’re so happy that you’re here,’ and that’s really heartwarming to hear,” Mink said.
“I think it’s a gathering place for kids, people young and old, to gather around. I’ve heard stories that David Kneale (former owner of Depot Street Malt Shop) got the idea to open the Malt Shop because he wanted a gathering place for kids to go after school and drink their milkshakes together. We just thought our spot was perfect. I hope it does become a community gathering place,” Mink said.
Neil Handwerger, owner of Café on Main, said he felt the same way when he learned no one would be selling ice cream in the village.
Café on Main began offering creemees about three weeks ago, he said.
It offers vanilla, maple and maple-vanilla swirl creemees, with sprinkles and a local crunchy maple topping, Handwerger said.
He says it’s been more popular than he expected, so much so that he extended Café on Main’s hours to 5 p.m., and after July 4 creemees will be available until 7 p.m., he said.