Tag Archives: ice cream

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.

A Cross Highway Scoop

After a long and costly renovation, Bob Corroon re-opened Christie’s Country Store last August.  The economy immediately tanked.

Two weeks ago he added a separate ice cream stand.  Instantly, a cold, wet rain settled in.

Fortunately, both spots are thriving.

Bobby and Bob Corroon

Bobby and Bob Corroon

The Christie’s story — how Bob parlayed his faith that the Cross Highway neighborhood (with help from Staples, Bedford and local workers) would support a 1920’s-era store, updated with 21st-century food (and tacos!) — is well known.  Now he’s replicating it with ice cream.

The 6-sided stand was built in Redding in the 1930s.  In the ’40s the Masiello family brought it to Christie’s property.  But the last cone was served years ago.

Bob is counting on the same update-the-basics formula that works for his grocery store.  The ice cream — made by Pat West, wh0 lives around the corner — comes in over a dozen flavors.  There’s basic chocalate, vanilla and strawberry; flavors like Oreo bomb, creme caramel and honey coffee, plus sorbets and gelato.

Picnic tables invite ice cream lovers to linger.

Bob’s sons — Bobby (soon to enroll at William & Mary) and Green’s Farms Academy student Nicky — run the stand.  It’s open from noon to 8 p.m.  “Or maybe later,” Bob says, in that laid-back, we’ll-figure-it-out way that made Christie’s cool again.

His ice cream will be cool too — if warm weather ever arrives.