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The Weather Network
Oct. 21, 2021 | Thursday
Local News
Sun shines on opening day for Avondale Dairy Bar
Alaina Kelly, manager and Sara Petriello, store manager, gearing up for a busy season at the Avondale Dairy Bar on its first day open this year. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

Avondale Dairy Bar saw bright skies and warmer weather on Saturday, as the business opened for its first official day of the season.

As though the weather wanted to illuminate the opening day, the skies were clear and cloud-free, and the sun was out all day.

Temperatures hovered around zero degrees in the early afternoon, but families still decided to make the trip to the Stewart Road ice cream shop for their first taste of Avondale’s authentic ice cream.

Alaina Kelly, manager, said they have been preparing for the season for the last few weeks.

“People expect us to open around March Break, so I think we’ll see a lot of people today. The afternoon is usually pretty busy.”

She also credited the nice weather for the busy day ahead.

Though business is usually better later in the afternoon, the staff saw a line of customers ready for their favourite ice cream when the doors opened at noon.

The ice cream shop has ample seating room available inside. When the weather warms up a bit more, the picnic benches will be set up around the property as usual. Kelly said there’s a bit of work to be done rearranging the benches and getting them ready for spring. She said that’s something they will take care of in the next few days.

Gearing up for the season, about 60 new staff members will be hired over the course of the summer, which she said will be crucial when it gets busier.

“Right now, we operate with a lot less staff, but we’ll need more when it picks up.”

From the counter looking in, customers can get a glimpse of the ice cream makers in action through a small window, with the words above: “This is the room where we make all your favourite ice cream.”

“An honest to goodness dairy bar,” it has been a staple in Niagara for more than 60 years. Crafting fresh ice cream on site daily, staff blend flavours into the ice cream by hand, “the old-fashioned way.”

The company’s website lists more than 40 flavours available daily.

Kelly said the vegan ice cream, which was introduced near the end of last year’s season, is a big hit. The other non-dairy flavours weren’t available yet, so she said she expects the vegan ice cream to sell well over the first few days.

The dairy bar is also known for custom cakes and pies, which can be pre-ordered for pickup.

The shop is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily.