Ice cream fans can rejoice as a new business opens to serve a melty treat for the summer.
When Janey Sawyer and her husband, Danny Sawyer, looked around for independent, family-owned ice cream shops in the area, they found the upper part of James City County lacking. The couple, who currently own the Williamsburg Bazaar, decided to make a change and open something fun and unique.
“My husband is an ice cream freak,” Janey said. “So we really wanted to bring an ice cream shop but also bring back that old-timey vibe where you could go into the country store, get ice cream and shop around.”
Janey and her husband looked around for a place that could offer ice cream but also feature items for sale from local vendors. Soon, the couple found a location in Norge and signed the paperwork to open the Norge Bazaar and Ice Cream Shoppe.
But then the coronavirus pandemic put a pause on the idea.
Sawyer said she has taken the past few time to fix up the building with new paint and carpets. There’s a large back room they hope to use for small gatherings such as birthday parties or for business meetings.
After months of waiting, the business is finally ready to open and when it does, Sawyer’s friend Jeff Owens will manage the ice cream portion of the store while she and her husband manage the retail part.
“Jeff [has] run other restaurants before so it was perfect,” she said. “My husband and I didn’t necessarily want to serve the ice cream, but we wanted to eat it. So we formed an informal partnership.”
The ice cream portion of the new business will serve flavors from Hershey’s Ice Cream that guests can buy and eat while they walk around and look at various items.
Sawyer said the items sold in the store will be similar to what is currently offered at the Williamsburg Bazaar, but there will be more vintage, craft items. She expects there to be soap, furniture and clothing among other items for sale.
Featuring local vendors alongside the ice cream was important to Sawyer because it supports the community and brings together a family.
“Family doesn’t have to be biological, it can be your close friends,” she said. “We’re all doing our part to be successful and depend on each other.”
As a former military family, Sawyer said she and her husband know what it means to depend on those around you for support and that’s something she wants people to feel when they come into the store.
“I think it’s the kind of feeling we all grew up with where you supported other businesses,” she said. “So to me that’s just a feeling of love and respect for the community.”
In just the few weeks since the sign has been posted outside the business, Sawyer said items she has placed in the window for sale have already had people buy them and several have stopped to ask about the ice cream.
The Norge Bazaar and Ice Cream Shoppe, 7521 Richmond Road, will open for retail purchases on Monday and for ice cream customers on Tuesday.
To learn more, visit the Norge Bazaar and Ice Cream Shoppe online.
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