Sweet Treats on the Wharf, also known as Douglas and James Homemade Ice Cream, is a staple ice cream shop for the community of Port Washington. Established in May of 1994 and open all summer long, the ice cream shop is a popular hangout spot for Port Washington residents to satisfy their sweet tooth and watch the sunset on a warm summer night. Located on the water, the Wharf is the perfect location to attract residents who want some dessert.
All of the ice cream at Sweet Treats on the Wharf is homemade daily by the owner, Douglas Shepardson.
“Shepardson comes in early in the morning to make the ice cream. He makes everything from scratch with only the finest ingredients. He ensures that the shop is running smoothly, fixes anything that needs attention and checks inventory. Shepardson normally leaves early evening when it starts to become really crowded because he finds it too hard to make the ice cream and do things around the store when tons of people are there,” former worker of four years Charlotte Hyde said.
Sweet Treats on the Wharf is open all summer long, yet closed during the winter season. On the East Coast, most ice cream businesses die down during the winter months due to the fact that most people do not want ice cream on a cold, snowy day in January. The Wharf offers more than 50 flavors of ice cream all homemade, a variety of toppings, candy and fountain drinks. Sweet Treats on the Wharf is the ideal summer spot for residents.
“I worked at Douglas and James Homemade Ice Cream shop for four years starting the summer going into my junior year of high school as a summer job. I ended up loving it and worked there the rest of high school and part of the summer during college when I was home to make extra money,” explained Hyde. “All the workers, excluding his now adult kids who still work there on occasion, are high school and college students. Most of them are from town and come after school to work on the weekends and during the summer.”
Douglas and James Homemade Ice Cream shop has also started to incorporate gluten and dairy free ice cream options. This allows for people with specific allergies the opportunity to enjoy delicious homemade ice cream.
“Everyone who works there becomes friends, no matter their age or if they knew each other before. Working there is definitely hard work when the line is out the door, which is often, but is always fun,” explained Hyde. “The older kids working there sometimes drive the younger one’s home after a late night of closing. Then, when they get their license, they return the favor. It’s a nice system.”
The hamlet of Port Washington has numerous ice cream shops and there will always be competition between them. Everyone’s sweet tooth can be satisfied depending on their mood from the likes of the Wharf, Carvel, Baskin Robbins, 16 Handles and Ralphs. Sweet Treats on the Wharf, however, is not a chain business like the others in Port Washington.
“Douglas and James differ from other name brand ice cream chains as it is all handmade ice cream and has been family owned and operated since 1994. That brings a sense of community within itself to attract local customers to try the ice cream,” emphasized Hyde.
The Wharf is a family run business where the town of Port Washington feels comfortable and welcomed with every lick of ice cream because they know that it is made entirely with love and dedication.
“I love the fact that the Wharf ice cream is made daily and by a family. It brings a sense of home and comfort when eating the ice cream and makes me appreciate the little things my parents do for me,” local resident Maddy Wiener said.
The Wharf is a great place to hang with friends and enjoy ice cream while watching the beautiful Port sunset. It is a place where people feel welcomed to stop by at any point in the day during the summer to eat ice cream. Sweet Treats on the Wharf is a staple business that is located at 405 Main St., Port Washington.
Sydney Rosenthal is a contributing writer at Anton Media Group.