YORKTOWN — Nostalgic treats, ice cream and history make a sweet combination in the newly-opened Little York Confectionery on Historic Yorktown’s Main Street.
The Somerwell House has been transformed into a candy lover’s dream. Built in the 1700s, the federally-owned building is now leased by Celeste and Jo Gucanac. The couple also owns and operates Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters and Petite Café a few doors down in the historic village.
“It can take years to get approval and lease through in the National Parks. But, our goal with both spaces was to take vacant historic national park buildings and create a destination and place … people can be really proud of,” said Celeste Gucanac.
The beauty and authenticity of the space add to the appeal of Little York Confectionery. Hardwood floor planks and original brick fireplaces remain the focal point, despite the enticing smells of chocolate and caramel.
“It took about two years for us to get this building up and running, but it has been worth the time and effort to have this space be open and thriving,” Gucanac continues, “… we created a destination that works with tourism and right here in the heart of Yorktown.”
“In Colonial America, Yorktown was the biggest deep water port and this street used to be thriving with merchants. They were creating and selling their products right here. And, we are doing the same thing now.” Guacnac proudly continues, “We are taking this area back to that thriving vision of Yorktown.”
Tying in local products and themes is also important to Executive Chef Mary Ammons. She has worked closely with Gucanac to create homemade chocolates and confections that are made, packaged, and sold on-site, in addition to the menu at Mobjack Petite Cafe.
Customers can even watch the product be made fresh daily in the kitchen. The confections look like miniature works of art while the flavors remain classic and elegant. A staff favorite is the Yorktown Onion Chocolate, which does not include the herb, but rather is decorated to showcase the local blossom.
“Mary walks down to the Farmer’s Market on the weekends to pick fresh, local produce that inspires her menus. We could not do this without her,” Guanac said.
Guests are invited to sit under the trees in the back and enjoy their treats at one of the picnic tables in the green space. Little York Confectionery is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.