ROCKPORT—Put together a rich, dark chocolate gelato in a handmade waffle cone and a beyond beautiful deckside view of Rockport Harbor and you’ve got yourself a sweet little business.
Entrepreneur Therese Inman and her husband, Garett Reppenhagen, moved to Maine from Colorado last year, had a vision that Maine would be the place for their dream job.
In Colorado, Inman worked as a CNA in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) but baked on the side.
When they got to Maine, they discovered the spot at 27 Central Street, formerly a storage room that had been initially been the darkroom for Maine Media Workshops.
“We knew moving to Maine, this was going to be the plan,” she said. “Sometimes, I come out here out on the deck and it’s just such a nice little breath of fresh air.”
Inman, who began baking desserts for Ports of Italy, handmakes her gelato and waffle cones. The gelato, which is a European-style ice cream, starts with a gelato base from Pineland Farms and is made with milk, cream, and sugar mixed with stabilizer.
“From there, I make the flavors from scratch, so the salted caramel gelato is made from sugar that I caramelize,” she said. “For the blueberries and cream flavor, I take fresh blueberries and dump sugar and a little lemon juice and salt and let it macerate while it cooks on the stove.”
A crowd favorite so far is mint cookies and cream.
“I use peppermint extract along with pureed fresh mint leaves, so it has this really nice pale green color,” she said. “Then, I dump in crushed Oreos.”
Another favorite is Tiramisu.
“I start with a Zabaglione custard, soak ladyfingers in Kahlua and coffee and layer it all together with cocoa powder on top,” she said. “It’s a little lighter version of Tiramisu.”
Soon she will roll out another menu item: crepes, both sweet and savory.
“We’ll have the standard Nutella and fruit and Crepes Suzette, which is lemon and sugar,” she said. “And for those who want savory, we’ll have ham and Gruyere, a basil, pesto with chicken, a turkey and Swiss, all the good sandwiches that you want to eat, except we put them in a crepe instead of bread.”
Down the line, Inman will also be adding beer and wine to the menu, which can be sipped on site.
“So, something for everyone. If you don’t feel like something sweet, but just want a glass of wine, out on the deck, we’ll have that.”
Reppenhagen, who works full time as Executive Director of Veterans for Peace, scoops and works the register on the weekend. The couple’s commitment to the community extends to their tip jar. Tips don’t go to the business; instead, they go to a nonprofit selected each month. This month’s tips going to Waldo County Bounty.
The business has only been open less than a month with a big word-of-mouth following. Sea Folk, the coffee shop around the corner, has been closed for several years during the COVID-19 pandemic and has recently re-opened giving the quiet town of Rockport has two food-and-drink businesses open during the day.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org