In the spotlight: Charlie’s Frozen Treat Shop – Best Dessert
Every year since Charlie’s Frozen Treat Shop opened in 2017, the business has won Best of Grand accolades for offering the best dessert in the county. This year, the frozen treat parlour adds best ice cream to its growing list of awards.
Jeanne and George Jackson shared that winning is both exciting and humbling, since they believe the competition in the dessert category is strong across the county.
“It was a surprise (in 2017) and ever since then, every subsequent year, it’s been very exciting because we do our best, but we’re in a category with those big restaurants and we’ve had their desserts and they’re pretty good,” Jeanne said.
Charlie’s, named after the family’s black lab, goes beyond the typical ice cream shop with offerings including gelato, custard, sorbet, Italian ice and, of course, ice cream. Also on the menu are hand-dipped ice cream bars, homemade cookie ice cream sandwiches and dog-friendly smoothie cups and treats.
“The frozen treat concept encompasses everybody, so we try to make it something for everyone to enjoy,” Jeanne said. “You’ll have some families come in and they’re an all chocolate family, but other families will order four or five different things.”
This year, the store added handmade shakes and malts to the menu, which have been a big hit.
“We’re always changing flavors,” George said. “We always try to have a non-dairy option.”
Adapting to 2020 for Charlie’s meant temporarily offering online ordering and delivery during the Safer at Home phase of the pandemic. Those services may return this winter depending on regulations, George noted.
Luckily, one of the perks of running a frozen treat shop is that it’s a really fun job even in tough times, Jeanne said.
“We don’t hardly ever have a bad day at the ice cream store,” she said.
In one instance, George placed the order for the toppings, accidentally asking for giant gummy bears instead of the usual size. Jeanne said one look at the excitement from kids at seeing the triple-size bears meant the mistake turned into a permanent topping bar feature.
In their time open, only one ice cream flavor wasn’t popular – vegan blueberry frozen fruit.
“There’s been a lot of support and love from the community, especially our locals and second homeowners,” Jeanne said.
The future of Charlie’s is all about continuing to build up the business and community relationships, Jeanne added, so that she and George can keep the business in the family and serving Winter Park.
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