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Retail Watch: A pair of popular Lehigh Valley businesses get new starts

A dish of Cookie Monster ice cream, a popular flavor, is seen Thursday, March, 28, 2024, at Sundaes on Broadway in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)
A dish of Cookie Monster ice cream, a popular flavor, is seen Thursday, March, 28, 2024, at Sundaes on Broadway in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)
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For years, Jason Parker was in the business of heat — specifically, fireplaces.

So it tickles him that he now calls himself the owner of an ice cream shop.

“They’re the opposite!” he said. “But that’s how life is.”

Parker bought the former site of Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery at 101 S. Broadway in Wind Gap, which closed in February. “It has been bittersweet,” a post on the brand’s Facebook read. “The new owner will continue to have ice cream and all the sweet treats!”

Indeed, Parker has continued Sweet Nanny’s legacy of serving homemade ice cream. But he’s giving it a spin, beginning with a fresh coat of paint and rebranding the shop as Sundaes on Broadway. A new sign featuring the new shop name went up Wednesday, in time for the store’s upcoming grand opening (Parker is still working on a date, though the store is open for business in the meanwhile).

Fans of Sweet Nanny’s might notice that the interior of the store looks different. Parker replaced the collection of cow knickknacks and portraits that came with the space with neon lights. “I wanted to make the interior brighter,” he said.

In addition to ice cream, Parker said he’s developing some new cold treats. One he’s proud of is fruit pops. “I make them myself with a fruit pop machine in the back,” he said. “I just made some morning. I chopped up two pineapples, put some sugar, water and stabilizer. And now we have pineapple fruit pops.” As the weather gets warmer and fruit becomes more abundant (and better tasting), Parker aims to get more fruit pops on the menu.

Until then, he’s gearing up for summer.

“It’s not the season yet, but we’re open,” he said.

  • Ice cream sandwiches are available on Thursday, March, 28, 2024,...

    Ice cream sandwiches are available on Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • Sundaes on Broadway co-owner Jason Parker scoops out Cookie Monster...

    Sundaes on Broadway co-owner Jason Parker scoops out Cookie Monster ice cream, a popular flavor, Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28,...

    A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • Sundaes on Broadway co-owner Jason Parker scoops out Cookie Monster...

    Sundaes on Broadway co-owner Jason Parker scoops out Cookie Monster ice cream, a popular flavor, Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28,...

    A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28,...

    A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • Over 35 flavors of cool treats and ice cream are...

    Over 35 flavors of cool treats and ice cream are available at Sundaes on Broadway in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28,...

    A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • Over 35 flavors of cool treats and ice cream are...

    Over 35 flavors of cool treats and ice cream are available at Sundaes on Broadway in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28,...

    A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28,...

    A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • Fresh frozen fruit bars are available Thursday, March, 28, 2024,...

    Fresh frozen fruit bars are available Thursday, March, 28, 2024, at Sundaes on Broadway in Wind Gap. Co-owner Jason Parker makes the bars in the shop out of fruit, water, sugar and stabilizer. He plans to have more flavors available as the weather warms up. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • A dish of Cookie Monster ice cream, a popular flavor,...

    A dish of Cookie Monster ice cream, a popular flavor, is seen Thursday, March, 28, 2024, at Sundaes on Broadway in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28,...

    A look at Sundaes on Broadway on Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

  • Jason and Michele Parker, owners of Sundaes on Broadway, pose...

    Jason and Michele Parker, owners of Sundaes on Broadway, pose in their new ice cream shop Thursday, March, 28, 2024, in Wind Gap. Sundaes on Broadway took over the space that housed Sweet Nanny’s Candies and Ice Cream Creamery, which closed in February. (April Gamiz/첥Ƶ)

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Another sign of warmer times ahead: the tiny, green shoots coming out of the earth and flowering into daffodils, tulips and other spring flowers. If you’re a gardener, this is the time of year where you’re itching to get some seeds into the ground. Lucky for you, Dan Schantz Greenhouse and Cut Flower Outlet is back.

Readers might remember when my colleague Evan Jones reported the property at 2031 SW 29th St. in October. By December, the greenhouse had shut down. But Schantz reopened Wednesday with Bob Herr, owner of Herr’s Fruit Farms in Lancaster, temporarily at the helm until June 2.

It’s a win-win.

“For me, it’s an opportunity to test drive the business and see if we can move forward with purchasing it,” Herr said. “For them [Schantz], it keeps the momentum of spring for the business.”

Herr is keeping Schantz’s core business going: flowers, perennials and vegetables for those looking to get their gardens flourishing. But he’s giving the shop a Lancaster flair, starting with custom hanging baskets from Amish growers, as well as an array of jams, pickles, and raw honey. He’s also introducing houseplants and tropical plants — a nod to the growing popularity for lush foliage in homes, and an invitation to the shop for those who may not identify as a gardener but are looking for some green to spruce up their living space.

Herr is a green thumb, the third generation to own and operate Herr’s Fruit Farms. “And now, with my granddaughter Maggie, I’m hoping she’ll be the fifth generation to continue,” he said with a chuckle.


Back in December, I reported that Bar Torino and Bottle Shop would open in January.

It’s the end of March now, but at last it’s open.

“We finally got our liquor permit,” said co-owner Marc Devlin, who has been in the wine business for over 25 years. The modern Italian-inspired eatery is nested in The Seville, a luxury apartment complex at 56 N. Third St. in Easton, and has been quietly hosting soft openings throughout the last week, including one for Seville apartment dwellers.

Devlin said he’s trying to buck any stereotypes people might have about Italian food and combine “highbrow with lowbrow.” That means that the menu is very friendly to those who may not be food nerds: pizza takes center stage, with salads, charcuterie and various small plates supporting the show.

But on second glance, there’s more to the story. “We’ve got a rotating menu of seasonal small plates,” Devlin said, “and a few salads, like a chicory Caesar. We’ve got chicken wings, but they’re confited and fried in a Calabrian chili sauce. And we’ve got the best meatballs you’ve ever had in your life.”

Devlin has obsessed over the interior, particularly as the bottle shop, once open, will be both a part of yet separate from the restaurant. Bar Torino will be focused around the specialty pizza ovens that Devlin brought in from Italy to ensure char-grilled crusts, with 20 bar seats ensuring an intimate venue. The bottle shop will be separated by a 25-foot pane of glass built in Easton by a local fabricator, “so that you’re in the restaurant but you’re also in this private room,” Devlin said.

The counters in the bottle shop have been specially designed by Stofanak in Bethlehem so that “you’re elevated a bit, but at counter height and can see each other,” he said.

That intimacy and careful curation is leaking into Bar Torino’s sourcing as well, with flours, olive oil and charcuterie all being imported from Italy. For Devlin, an organic, sustainable approach to ingredients was also crucial.

“We’ve connected with Cabbage Throw Farm in Asbury, New Jersey, to source organic produce, and our wine list is close to 99% organic. Lots of our spirits are organic as well,” he said.

Devlin’s goal with Bar Torino: Casual simplicity, but, in his words, “elevated.”

“I don’t have a ton of staff running around, and really, the food is how I want to eat these days,” he said. “I just want a great bottle of wine, some starters, and then to share a pizza with people. It’s the way I enjoy eating, and I think a lot of people enjoy eating.”

Briefly:

Schropp Dry Goods Shoppe (say that 10 times fast!) will be opening in May at 505 Main St. in Bethlehem. It “will be a charming store inspired by the town’s original dry goods store, which was owned by John and Maria Elizabeth Schropp” — the daughter and son-in-law of Moravian business owner John Sebastian Goundie.

History nerds and shoppers will be in for a treat, according to the Historic Bethlehem Partnership, with a store interior inspired by — and often a direct replication of — the original.

“Thanks to the extensive and well-preserved records of both the original Schropps’ store and the boarding school for girls in Bethlehem, whose students were frequent patrons of the store, we have a clear picture of what was sold in the store in the 1800s,” a statement by Brett Peters, curator of collections and exhibitions, said. “Much of it was merchandise we still buy — everything from groceries and stationery to hardware, China, and kitchen supplies. Almost everything a 19th-century household needed could be purchased at the local dry goods store.”

Finally, Bar 1838, which was part of Downtown Allentown Market, held a party to celebrate its closure Thursday. The bar is one of two casualties of the Market’s upcoming change in hours. Last week, the Market announced it is reducing and shifting its hours to be focused on breakfast and lunch, which isn’t bar friendly. The bar, “founded by three Allentown natives,” was owned by Samantha Younes (who is behind Zahra, the now-oldest tenant at the Market), as well as Rick Pongracz and Manny Rodriguez, who both co-own Batch Microcreamery, a former tenant.

Retail Watch is a weekly column covering retail and restaurant news in the Lehigh Valley. Have a question, tip, or want to see something in the area? Contact retail reporter Tanya Basu at retailwatch@mcall.com.

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