- Jordan Barry ©️ Seven Days
- Amy and Chad Riley of Heather's Sweet Treats
This spring, an old loading dock will transform into Essex Junction's newest ice cream destination.
Heather's Sweet Treats aims to open on April 23 at 34 Park Street. The shop will serve ice cream scoops, soft serve, sundaes and shakes from a walk-up window on a newly installed deck next to Essex Barber Shop.
Owners Amy and Chad Riley already have a prep kitchen in the building for Sparky's BBQ & Grill, their catering and food truck business. Chad is a contractor by trade and built out the somewhat hidden, unused loading dock area for Heather's.
"He sees opportunities where nobody else really does," Amy said with a laugh.
The couple started catering with Sparky's in 2016, and they added a seasonal, stationary food truck in Essex Center in May 2020.
Heather's will offer scoops of Gifford's ice cream, flurries, signature sundaes in brownie and Fruity Pebbles bowls, dog-friendly ice cream, and 24 flavors of soft serve.
"Kids can get more than the normal chocolate and vanilla, like bubblegum," Chad said. "We want this to be a safe place for them to come."
The shop is named for Amy's aunt Heather Jo Valyou, who died in a car accident in December.
"She was going to come work with us as part of her retirement," Amy said. "We've really themed it around her: She loved green, and she loved wine and potato chips. We're trying to come up with a signature sundae to incorporate some of the stuff that she really enjoyed."