Tag Archives: Ben & Jerry’s Baskin-Robbins

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.