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From left, owner Jessie Parker and customer Tammi Tufts, have bonded in their love of salted caramel truffle ice cream, which is now available along with other flavors, at Jessie's Country Store on Main Street – Route 153 – in Farmington. (JOHN QUINN PHOTO)

Frozen favorites

Farmington ice cream parlors welcome summer heat

FARMINGTON — As local students escape school for the summer, they will be able to quench the heat since two local stores opened up ice cream bars around the downtown.

Jessie's Country Store offers 10 flavors, sundaes and eventually banana splits to provide more options to customers alongside bags of ice, cold beer and barbecue supplies.

Owner Jessie Parker, who lives in Milton and opened the store in March, said she started selling ice cream and sundaes about two weeks ago and plans to add a traditional ice cream favorite — the banana split — soon.

"I just got all my toppings — I just need bananas," Parker said. "You can't mess with a banana split."

Rachel Ratay of Farmington, who works the counter at the store, said many customers come in just to get ice cream. She said a few people ordered a treat while they waited for their pizza, but most just needed something cold.

"We sold six of them to one person this weekend," Ratay said, adding she expects to see a lot of business as school ends Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile Farmington House of Pizza began serving ice cream Monday at a counter near the entrance inside the downtown restaurant along Main Street.

As there are several pizza places in town, owner Stan Yiokarinis hopes ice cream will help expand business by offering customers dessert deals — like brownie sundaes — holding community events and catering to crowds during Hay Day in August.

"It will increase business because ice cream and pizza work together," Yiokarinis said. They're also starting with 10 flavors, including his favorite vanilla, from Gifford's.

After serving his first two ice creams after school ended, about 25 children from the Parks & Recreation Department's afternoon program walked a block to celebrate the beginning of the summer with a cone of their own.

Additionally, Yiokarinis said he's partnering with the recreation Department to host a family night, scheduled for July 16 from 5 to 8 p.m.

"Always there is room for everybody," Yiokarinis said, and 10 percent of the proceeds will benefit the recreation department.

"So part of the money stays here in the community," Yiokarinis said.