The scoop on ice cream returning to downtown Hanover

By JOHN LIPPMAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 03-29-2022 10:51 AM

HANOVER — In a no-brainer as obvious as selling hot dogs at a baseball game, a new ice cream parlor will be opening next door to the Nugget Theaters in Hanover, filling a void created two years ago when gelateria Morano Gelato closed early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kim and Scott Smith, the Woodstock couple who have built a retail store mini-empire in the Upper Valley, plan to open Hanover Scoops in the space next to the Nugget and formerly occupied by the apparel and accessory store J List, which closed in January.

“When the J List space opened up, we thought this would be a great idea,” Kim Smith said last week. “Being next to the movie theater is an ideal location, and so is being in a college town. There’s nothing like this in Hanover.”

The Hanover Improvement Society, which operates the Nugget Theaters, last summer opened for the season an ice cream parlor in the space formerly occupied by Morano Gelato, but the space was subsequently leased to the new sandwich shop, The Nest Kitchen, which is a spin-off from Norwich’s Blue Sparrow Kitchen.

“With the unexpected closing of the J List, we got the word out quickly and had half a dozen people contact me,” said Jeff Graham, general manager of the Hanover Improvement Society. “The town simply needs an ice cream shop, and it is the perfect complement to the Nugget and the Nest. The Smiths have a terrific shop and proven track record in Woodstock, so I feel it is a perfect fit.”

The Smiths, who own Red Wagon Toy Co. and 37 Central Clothiers in Woodstock, as well as women’s apparel store The Ivy Edit in Hanover, opened an ice cream shop, Woodstock Scoops, in the former Vermont Flannel Co. location on Central Street last summer. The ice cream parlor opened just as tourists and shoppers were freely venturing out again after 15 months of COVID-19 and gained a brisk reception.

In each case, Woodstock and Hanover, Smith said they were motivated by filling a vacuum created after similar businesses closed.

In the case of Woodstock Scoops, the opportunity opened up when Mountain Creamery’s ice cream parlor and lunch counter on Central Street closed in 2021 after 34 years and relocated near the Sleep Woodstock Motel on Route 4 in West Woodstock.

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“After (ice cream store) Mountain Creamery closed, who we knew then because they are next to our stores, we asked them if they wanted to team up with us on a new ice cream store in town,” Smith said. “It’s worked out well.” She noted that the parlor was quickly able to capture the flow of seasonal tourists and shoppers.

Woodstock Scoops also sources from Wilcox Ice Cream in East Arlington, Vt., and Smith said both Wilcox and Mountain Creamery will supply ice cream to Hanover Scoops as well.

The Hanover parlor will also serve soft ice cream and maple creemees, Smith said. Hanover Scoops will he managed by the Smith’s daughter, Allison Smith, who has been managing The Ivy Edit apparel store, located in the alley next to Molly’s Restaurant and Bar.

She said they are targeting a May opening for the ice cream parlor with a choice of 12 to 15 different flavors. Smith said she also would like to find a New Hampshire ice cream maker to carry.

But Smith said she does not foresee Hanover Scoops branching out beyond frozen treats.

“We’re pretty much just going to stick to ice cream at this point,” she said.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.

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