Sunny Daes Is Here

This week, as our thoughts turn to skiing, skating and hot chocolate, Westport welcomes — an ice cream shop.

Sunny Daes introduces its 5th Connecticut location (30 Riverside Avenue — site of the former King’s service station) with a “soft opening” (ho ho).  It will show off its 68 favors of ice cream, gelato and frozen yogurt, with free cones on New Year’s Eve.

I don’t want to be the skunk at the garden party, but I’ve got a few questions:

  • Will the location work? That section of Riverside Avenue — just beyond the Post Road intersection — has always been a tough business environment.  Restaurants and retailers struggle.  It’s out of sight — physically and metaphorically — for manydowntown shoppers.  Most ice cream shops rely heavily on foot traffic, which is non-existent across the river.  And despite a few parking spots in front of the store, getting into and out of the small lot is not easy.
  • Is Westport ready for another ice cream place? Carvel carved out a niche around the time the Bedfords and Coleys settled in town.  Baskin-Robbins has a prime downtown spot, though it’s suffered since the demise of the movie theaters.  Ben & Jerry’s — arguably the world’s most famous ice cream name — recently closed up shop.  Gone too are MaggieMoo’s, TCBY and — for far too long — the crème de la crème, the Ice Cream Parlor.
  • What’s with the name? Sunny Daes does not scream “ice cream”; in fact, it looks vaguely Middle Eastern.  It’s one thing if you’ve got the name recognition of Tom Carvel, but Sunny Daes does not.  They must not only introduce themselves to Westport; they have to explain what they are.

None of those problems are insurmountable.  Sunny Daes may well thrive.  It might lead to a West Bank (of the Saugatuck) renaissance.  Certainly, any new business in Westport is welcome.

Even one selling ice cream in the dead of winter.

7 responses to “Sunny Daes Is Here

  1. Dan, I would hold off a West Bank “renaissance.” Recent actions by the Westport P&Z could lead one to believe that the town has thrown in the towel on that part of town as a retail hub. At the request of several small retailers in the area the RTM will be considering overturning the P&Z’s action on January 13th.

  2. Toni and I made our first visit Saturday night in the cold rain. Couldn’t wait! No parking problems since we were the only customers. Nice folks at counter. The cow is bolted down so may not be snatched as it was in Fairfield. Last but should be first … The home made ice cream was great. Soon one can pig out with Five Guys burgers and follow up with Sunny Daes. This is no way to go on my much needed diet??!!??!!

  3. Just wondering

    Sunny Daes: sounds like a daycare center. Why mess with Days? It’s a perfectly good spelling.

  4. Guys, its a play on Sundae, Ice Cream Sundae. And its seems to be working well for them. I have been hearing raves about the Fairfield store for years. Can’t wait for this and Five Guys…Diet is for tomorrow Steve.

  5. I’ve been to both their Fairfield and Trumbull locations and they have excellent gelato!

  6. Just wondering

    Oh, so THAT’S why it’s Daes. I get it now. Thanks for the ah-ha moment, John.