Local shops named to Tourism NB’s Best Ice Cream Road Trip list

Submitted photo With ingredients from Taiwan, CC’s Treats prepares boba for their bubble milk tea from scratch each morning.

CHARLOTTE COUNTY – Three businesses in Charlotte County have been recognized for being the best destinations for tasty frozen treats.

The Tourism New Brunswick’s Fundy Coast road trip includes CC’s Treats on Deer Island, McGuire Chocolate Company in Saint Andrews and Pete’s Dairy Bar in St. George. In total, there are 62 stops on Tourism NB’s new ice cream road trip map.

Deer Island’s CC’s Treats has grown in popularity in just a few years.

Before the pandemic, Cathy Richardson owned the only salon and spa on the Island.

“Salons were one of the first things that continuously got shut down,” she said regarding COVID-19 restrictions. “Reopening was uncertain.”

It was a family decision to open a new business after 15 years in a different industry. Because take-out services were open throughout the COVID-19 protocol changes, they settled on a business within the food industry.

“I’ve lived here 22 years and there hasn’t been a dairy bar,” said Richardson. To fill the need of dessert lovers on the island, Richardson opened CC’s Treats.

Opening a new business in the middle of a pandemic meant they had no expectations for what a regular season might look like, but Richardson says it’s been a busy couple of months.

From Mother’s Day to Labour Day, CC’s Treats are a staple within the community for their variety of unique eats. They are the only place in Charlotte County making bubble milk tea. Richardson and her daughter, who have taken on this journey together, prepare their boba from scratch with ingredients from Taiwan each morning. It’s become one of their most popular menu items, selling out most days.

Other popular menu items are their made fresh from scratch daily lemonade, dilly pasta salad, Harry Potter butter beer and, of course, their 28 flavours of hard serve ice cream.

“We wanted to bring tasty travels to people on Deer Island,” said Richardson.

“We did not expect to be on a prestigious list like this. We don’t even know how we made the list … it’s definitely exciting and unexpected.”

The feature is positive for the Island as business to CC’s encourages business all over.

Submitted photo McGuire Chocolate Company makes limited ingredient ice cream from cocoa butter and cane sugar. It’s one of three local ice cream destinations on a road trip map Tourism NB has created.

McGuire Chocolate Company in Saint Andrews is another local business featured on the Fundy Coast road trip.

“It always feels good anytime you’re getting recognized, and exposure is always good,” said owner Mark McGuire. “Most people out there aren’t even aware we exist.”

McGuire Chocolate Company relocated to Saint Andrews from Calgary and they’ve continued to grow their business since.

The foundation of their business is their single origin chocolate bars made from organic cocoa butter, cane sugar and cacao beans grown on small farms from around the world.

When settling into their new storefront in Saint Andrews, the McGuires wanted to add something to accompany their chocolate. Ice cream seemed like a natural progression, going hand-in-hand with the summer tourism season.

McGuire Chocolate Company also sells bread made fresh each morning.

“We wanted to create an environment where we could showcase the chocolate,” said McGuire. “We’ve got a dynamic list of flavours that changes every day.”

McGuire says the two most popular flavours selling out most days are the chocolate and the salted caramel. Quality is their top priority across all their products.

“We try to make sure there’s something for everyone. It’s a balance in terms of keeping our ice cream makers engaged and what the crowd wants.”

Submitted photo Pete’s Dairy Bar has centred the business around family, embracing their staff as if they too were family.

Pete’s Dairy Bar in St. George is the final Charlotte County ice cream spot on Tourism NB’s Fundy Coast road trip.

Pete’s has been a staple in the community for 38 years. Florence Rubin, whose nickname was Pete, started Pete’s Dairy Bar as a small stand in the lobby of the old Capitol Theatre. The first soft serve ice cream machine in St. George was installed in that building. Now, they have multiple machines with multiple flavours.

Pete’s is one of the only places around that serves a 24-ounce milkshake.

“People will say ‘boy that is really big.’ Well, that’s what we’re known for,” said Mary McAdam, Pete’s daughter who now runs the dairy bar. One of their most popular menu items is their banana split.

The family-run business starts off family members with jobs at age 14. This season, which will be McAdam’s last before she plans to retire, is the only one where no family members are on the staff.

“My staff is like family,” she said. “It’s time for me to stop, and spend some time with family.”

She’s continued the legacy her parents started and is hopeful her sons will do the same.

“My mother and father would be overwhelmed,” she said. “(The inclusion on the list) feels awesome, it really does.”

All three shops have received great support from their community. Receiving this inclusion on Tourism NB’s Fundy Coast road trip is sure to bring support from communities across the province for Charlotte County’s best ice cream spots.

To view the complete list of Tourism New Brunswick’s best ice cream road trips, visit Tourism New Brunswick online.

heatherknight@stcroixcourier.ca