At Tabitha’s Ice Cream, the classic sweet treat is more than a dessert — it’s an experience.
The business is in the process of opening a new location in the Trademark building, where it is blending soda shop nostalgia with a social media-friendly setting.
“We want people to come in and have fun,” co-owner Jack Van Sant said.
In addition to about 40 ice cream flavors — most of which are from Praline’s in Wallingford — and standard toppings and sauces, Tabitha’s offers a range of specialty sundaes, served up with a side of flair.
Customers who order the New Orleans Sundae will be handed a string of Mardi Gras beads as jazz music plays. Those who ask for The Godfather Sundae, featuring cannoli ice cream and anisette syrup, will be treated to the theme from “The Godfather.”
Interested in local real estate?Subscribe to Patch’s new newsletter to be the first to know about open houses, new listings and more.
Sections of the ice cream parlor are painted and decorated to resemble Bourbon Street, the New York City skyline and other settings for customers who want an on-theme selfie with their sundae.
Couples can order bottle service for a liter of special reserve root beer, accompanied by two mugs of ice cream for floats. Those celebrating a special occasion are invited to take a seat on the “princess throne.”
Menu offerings include vegan, sugar-free, fat-free, and dog-friendly ice cream; Micalizzi’s Italian Ice; Bigelow Tea; and coffee.
“A lot of detailed thought has gone into every single thing,” co-owner Susan Hickey said.
Hickey and Van Sant are longtime business partners and opened the first Tabitha’s location four years ago when they took over the ice cream shop at Captain’s Cove Seaport in Bridgeport. They named the business after Tabitha, a friendly dog who used to visit Captain’s Cove daily with her owner, Bill. When Bill died unexpectedly two years ago, Tabitha was adopted by Hickey and her daughters.
Hickey lives on the same side of town as the Fairfield shop at 665 Commerce Drive and is aiming to fill a hole in the market while attracting customers year-round from the Captain’s Cove location, which closes off-season. She and Van Sant also hope to draw business from the Sally’s Apizza restaurant set to open next door this summer.
Tabitha’s is in the process of soft opening and will hold a grand opening event later in the month.