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ICE CREAM DREAMS

 He used to visit a Middletown ice cream parlor with his kids. Now he owns it.

 

Sweet Creams Cafe, 503 E. Emaus St., Middletown, 

is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, 

and 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. It is closed on Mondays.

To learn more, check out Sweet Creams Cafe on Facebook 

or call 717-616-8730.

 

For Randy Brittelli, the old Cone-A-Cabana ice cream parlor in Middletown was a family tradition. He enjoyed taking his kids there almost every night.

 

“I used to go to football games every Friday night, and we’d come here after,” he said. “I just loved the place. It’s a quaint family setting. It was like a little cottage.”

 

He’d talk to the guy who ran the place, Bob, a man whose last name Brittelli can no longer remember. Brittelli would tell Bob that someday he hoped to buy the Cone-A-Cabana for his own ice cream stand.

 

Much chance of that happening seemed to disappear eight years ago, when Brittelli moved out of Middletown to a farm in Duncannon that he bought with his father. But Brittelli’s kids never forgot their dad’s dream.

cafeoutside7 2 14Photo by Dan Miller - Sweet Creams Cafe, 503 E. Emaus St., opened on Sunday, June 29 with free Wi-Fi and a menu anchored by ice cream.

 

A few years ago, after Brittelli and his wife divorced, Brittelli found himself back in Middletown a lot more often to stay in touch with his kids.

 

One day, while driving around, Brittelli and his two daughters saw a for-sale sign in front of the former Cone-A-Cabana, at Rupp and East Emaus streets.

 

His would-be real estate agents, Madalynn, 11, and 9-year-old Ashley, both came to the same conclusion – why not buy it? “I called – the price was right,” said Brittelli, now 37. “I figured we would give it a whirl.”

 

While he credits his two little girls with inspiring him to buy the business, Brittelli said the name for the new venture – Sweet Creams Cafe – was all his.

 

The business had gone through a few owners since the Cone-A-Cabana of Brittelli’s earlier days. By the time he bought the property, the business had been closed for almost two months.

 

“We cleaned it up a good bit” before reopening, Brittelli said. His goal is to bring the ice cream parlor “back to what it used to be – with lines out the door, everybody sitting on chairs eating ice cream enjoying the day, kids playing in the lawn.”

 

As a taste of things to come, Brittelli brought in a country band for a grand opening on Sunday, June 29. He hopes to bring in more bands, hold movie nights for the kids in the fall, and offer coffees and teas to get through the winter, when the days get as cold as an ice cream brain freeze. In addition, he offers free Wi-Fi and student discounts to help draw the Penn State Harrisburg crowd.

 

The Sweet Creams Cafe menu features traditional grill fare like hamburgers, hot dogs and cheesesteaks, with french fries and other assorted sides and soups. Brittelli has added wraps and salads to cater to today’s more health-conscious consumer. Ice cream, of course, remains the anchor.

 

Brittelli is also committed to the Middletown community. Sweet Creams Cafe donated all tips and 50 cents from the sale of each ice cream cone over a recent period to support the Cheyenne Zeiders fund. The cafe also raised $75 to support Sal Gambino, a young man with an incurable disease whose dying wish to see the fireworks at Walt Disney World has been publicized by the radio station WQXA-FM 105.7 “The X.’’