Mikaela Bliven
Contributing Writer

(Photo by Mikaela Bliven)

Seventeen years ago, 251 S. Bridge St. in Dimondale stood vacant and Brett Shaw, a long-standing resident of Dimondale and owner of Tri-County Real Estate in town, thought that he ought to purchase the property and turn the building into an ice cream shop. At the time, Shaw’s wife, Beth, a pediatric ICU nurse at Sparrow Hospital, decided that was not a good idea for them. They had six kids at home to take care of and full-time jobs, it was not a good time for them to add a business.

It turns out, Shaw wasn’t the only one who thought that Dimondale needed an ice cream shop. Over a decade later, the building was for sale once more but had been an ice cream shop already for years. As empty nesters, running the shop seemed much more feasible so the Shaws decided to take the plunge and purchase.

In only about six months, the Shaw family has made an array of updates to the Village Ice Cream & Café in order to make the business uniquely theirs. They have increased seating outside, added new décor, and are currently building custom bar tops for the windows. Their most eye-catching update thus far is the recreated rock wall that Brett and Beth took a photo in front of while celebrating their engagement in Niagara Falls in the ‘90s. Brett and his son, Zack, surprised Beth with it.

The appearance of the shop isn’t the only change, the menu has had quite the facelift. Hankering for something savory? Fondly referred to as the “Cardiac Special,” the shop boasts an array of fried vegetables such as cauliflower, green beans, and mushrooms. This summer they started serving fried, caramelized Pray’s sweet corn as a side. Another fan favorite is their signature Chicken & Waffle Cone that comes in an array of flavors such as Nashville Hot, Garlic Parmesan, and Carolina Gold. For extra flavor, load it up with mac and cheese. Wash it down with an ice-cold Coca-Cola, the shop just switched over to Coke products.

Village Ice Cream and Café has introduced two popular customizable treats this summer: ice cream nachos and ice cream sandwiches. The sandwich is a traditional treat, but the customer can choose whatever flavor ice cream they want and get their sandwich dipped in chocolate. Ice cream nachos are the real showstopper: waffle cone “chips” with soft serve or hand-dipped ice cream, and a dipping sauce. It’s no wonder why locals love this place, it has the best of both worlds where you can find savory, lip-smacking meals and then have a sweet treat to finish it off.

Always working on something new to satisfy their customers, the Shaws say there is more in the works. Stay tuned for New York bagels, coffee, specialty beverages, and more. Keep up with the updates at https://www.facebook.com/villageicecreamandcafe.