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Couple to open ice cream shop on Main Street


NATCHEZ — Main Street in Natchez is filling up with craft jewelry stores, boutiques, art and cooking classes and several restaurants; however, there is no ice cream shop, yet.

After his first five months in Natchez as the music minister at First Presbyterian Church, Darrell Day said his wife, Lisa, would be moving to Natchez soon from Florida and she plans to open a new business venture of her own, Annabelle’s Hand Crafted Ice Cream at 403 Main Street.

The shop’s name, “Annabelle” is not the name of a person, Darrell said, but rather a play of words on the antebellum building that will house the shop and its neighboring historic structures.

The couple closed on the building May 9, and are working to make the pre-civil war structure new again and turning it into both a home for themselves and a sweet community venue for everyone else, Darrell said, adding that they hope to be open for business by late fall.

“We want to connect what we do with the community,” Darrell said. “We’d like for the seating to be set up so people can interact with one another. … I’m going to build some of the tables and things inside. We’ll have a contractor doing most of the work, but I will be getting my hands dirty now and again.”

Darrell said he and Lisa are working with contractor, James Germany to restore the building’s exterior to its original 1860’s appearance.

“Hopefully it will look a lot like the other buildings downtown,” Darrell said. “We’d like for it to be fairly modern on the inside with an old-school feel to it.”

Lisa said she and Darrell plan to use both of their skills to make the shop a comfortable hang out for the community to relax and enjoy music, games and — of course — ice cream.

“We would love the shop to be a comfortable adjunct to the current shops in beautiful Natchez — a fun venue to relax, hang out with friends, enjoy live music or a game or trivia night,” Lisa said.

While Darrell provides some of the muscle and the music, Lisa said she is studying under different ice cream franchise owners in Florida and developing her own recipes for sweet goodies.

“I have always enjoyed cooking and baking,” Lisa said. “It is truly satisfying to create delicious food for friends and family to enjoy. When we initially visited Natchez and saw there were no ice cream shops (downtown), the dreaming began. We both love ice cream, and immediately knew what we wanted to do.
“I have attended ice cream classes here in Florida and have met and shadowed in local successful ice cream shops, as well as learned business aspects online.
“It is our desire to create a high quality, homemade premium ice cream product. We will carry the popular standards but will also be mixing up some unique and creative flavors. I plan to have some baked items and candy creations as well.”

Though Lisa would be mixing up the flavors, Darrell said he would help set the mood on occasion and plans to invite other musicians to come and entertain the shop’s patrons.

“Lisa is going to make everything on site,” Darrell said, “including baking the brownies and cookies and syrups that go with it. We just want to make it a really fun experience for people.”