By Jasmine Willis
DANSVILLE ‑ There is a new ice cream parlor in town that has something for everyone’s sweet tooth cravings.
Angie’s Ice Cream Shoppe held its grand opening on May 22. It is located in the historic 172 Main Street, which once housed Angelo Belliotti’s Barber Shop for five decades. In honor of this past the ice cream shoppe has old photos and documents on the walls to share the story.
Jessica Van Zee, Angie’s Ice Cream Shoppe owner told this local reporter the ice cream shoppe is about the community story.
“This is not just about ice cream. It is about so much more than that. This is about the community’s story. We are putting the community first. We have donated 250 dollars to help empower the Dansville Girl Scouts,” she said. “We are looking to immerse ourselves into the story. This is all about the history of this building. It is all about Ray Belliotti’s (Angelo’s son) story. He had his home above this shop, and the barber shop was below it where his family worked for decades. We wanted to connect the history of this building with its story.”
Van Zee said there is no seating in the ice cream shoppe to encourage customers to shop local as they enjoy a sweet treat.
“We are really proud to be bringing premium homemade hard ice cream, soft serve, homemade waffle cones and brownies to Dansville right on Main Street. We have nothing but the premium ingredients from locally sourced dairy farms. We are very proud in our product and our team,” she said. “It took us a while to renovate this space. You all might have seen it boarded up at one time. All of you know what this used to be at one time. You may remember this was the Main Street barber shop back in the day. We really wanted to preserve the history of this building and the story behind it. We really wanted to cherish that story of Angelo Belliotti’s Barber Shop that was so beloved for 50 years. You will see the barber shop theme throughout our shoppe.”
Van Zee thanked all the local businesses and individuals who made this possible.
Shay Construction, Audrey Acomb, Huver’s Electric, Matt Williams, Scotty’s Glass Shop, Skip Custom Flooring, Custom Craft and Signs, Air Vent and Aluminum, Bill Bacon, Pat Van Durme, Angie’s Ice Cream Shoppe Staff and the Van Zee Family.
“This effort is to bring foot traffic to Main Street. We really want you to shop local and take your ice cream with you to the Book Den and Dogwood Trading Company. We want you to shop with all our neighbors and friends downtown. We want to help revitalize Main Street,” Van Zee said.
Dansville Mayor Peter Vogt gave some encouragement about the grand opening of the new ice cream shoppe.
“Once upon a time a very very long time ago there used to be a youngster who used to go to a dentist up here on Main Street. After you had your teeth clean when your young like that individual was who bears a resemblance to me but much younger. They used to give you a certificate for ice cream afterwards to go down to the Sugar Bowl,” he said. “I enjoyed that immensely. We would walk around all downtown as my mother would do some shopping. This brings back a little of that memory. For all the people who got their hair cuts here it brings back a little memory. I used to come here quite frequently after it was taken over by new ownership. It is nice to see a building occupied and it is nice to have something delicious to go in there for. We welcome you to Dansville.”
Ray Belliotti, Angelo’s son was the special guest at the grand opening.
“We would like to thank everyone who helped to revive my father’s name so beautifully by preserving the building that served as his barber shop from 1940 to 1990. Thank you to Jessica Van Zee for her world wind marketing ingenuity. I have talked with Jess so much over the past few months that now we are old friends. I want to thank the laborers and planners who worked so diligently on this project,” he said. “If my father was here, he would be embarrassed by all the attention. He would be thrilled to see so many of his former customers. My father would insist we celebrate those with whom he worked and so critical in making the business successful. My father loved Main Street, which he understood to not only be the commercial center in that era, but also its cultural focus. If you wanted to know what was happening in town you only needed to stroll through Main Street. My father would beam brightly that the barber shop has blossomed into an ice cream shoppe.”
Belliotti shared a story about his childhood living above the barber shop from 1940 to 1954. He talked about falling down the stairs and his father cheering him up by taking him to get ice cream. This happened to him twice with fondness for the sweet treat he would get to take his mind off of the knock on the head or banged up knee.
Van Zee said as a female business owner she takes great pride in empowering other females in the community to take action.
“I take great pride in helping to support young girls who want to help out others and contribute to their society. I want to donate 250 dollars to the Dansville Girl Scouts with a goal to help out those who are hungry,” she said. “I love that the Dansville Girl Scouts are empowering these young girls to get involved in their community. That is what this business is all about. If we look into the history, we see that Angelo Bellotti hired the first female barber in Dansville. We are all about showing what it means to empower females and show team work. I used to be in the girl scouts and I wanted to give back. I wanted to be a mentor for these young girls.”
Joyce (Jaeger) Swift is a former employee of Angelo Belliotti’s Barber Shop. She worked there from 1984 to 1990.
“I had a friend tell me about the job when I was in need. I had lost my husband and was looking for work. I used to have a small shop in the 60s when I was out of school, but I had stopped that when I got married and had my kids. I really enjoyed working here with Angelo Belliotti. He was a really wonderful man,” she said.
Angie’s Ice Cream Shoppe is located at 172 Main Street in Dansville. It is open Mon to Fri. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Sat. and Sun. noon to 10 p.m. Any other information can be found on their website https://www.iloveangies.com/
MORE PHOTOS AND VIDEO OF CEREMONY CAN BE SEEN ON JASMINE'S CORNER FACEBOOK PAGE