There’s nothing more refreshing on a scorching and humid day than a cold scoop — or two — of ice cream. That’s just what a new shop in Charlotte is serving up … and more! Not only can you order your favorite flavor of ice cream — made at Mooville, a Nashville, Mich. creamery that produces fresh dairy products — but Corey’s Carousel parlor and bakery offers a variety of other sweet treats. The idea for the shop was born when shop owner Corey Briggs was undergoing cancer treatments in late 2010 and early 2011. “I didn’t have much else to do but watch food shows on TV,” she explained. And when she saw chefs creating cupcakes and cookies, she thought, “I can do that!” With years of experience in retail and customer service, Briggs knew the nuts and bolts of running a store. And the location was logical. “I wanted to find a way to give back to the community of Charlotte,” she said. Her friends and neighbors were very supportive of Briggs and her three kids while she was dealing with cancer. She made cupcakes for her friends to thank them for their outpouring of support. Opening up a shop where customers could have fun and enjoy a refreshing treat at a reasonable cost was a more permanent way to give back. So on July 7, Briggs opened up Corey’s Carousel in the heart of downtown Charlotte. The store has two storefronts — one for the bakery and one for the ice cream parlor. You can get hand dipped ice cream or build your own sundae at the old-fashioned ice cream parlor. And you can enjoy authentic ice cream sodas reminiscent of those enjoyed by your parents and grandparents. “I wanted to take my customers back and restart this old family tradition of going to an ice cream parlor,” she said. The space is also available for birthday parties. The bakery features creations crafted by professional baker Jill Driscoll. “I do much of the work at the shop myself,” Briggs said, “but I leave all the detailed decorating work to Jill. She’s an expert.” All of the baked goods sitting in the display case — cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, lollicakes and 10 varieties of cupcakes — are made daily from scratch. You can also order custom-made confections for any occasion — from birthdays to weddings. Though Briggs is happy with how the shop turned out, she has many ideas for the future. The carousel theme was born out of Briggs’ vision to create a fun carnival atmosphere. She meant to have carousel turntables on each table with toppings to build-your-own sundae. Though she couldn’t afford these when she first opened, she hopes to add them some day. She had to compromise on the turnstiles, but one thing Briggs doesn’t compromise on is using only the best ingredients and “keeping it local.” She buys from Michigan producers. “I even get cherries from a vendor in Traverse City,” she said. “And all of the shops’ equipment and furnishings are American-made.” In the short time that Corey’s Carousel has been open, Briggs has had many return customers. Judging by the reception she’s received, Briggs knows she can keep the carnival spirit going all year round. She knows that after fighting cancer, she can conquer any problem. “I wasn’t your typical cancer patient,” Briggs reflected. She had a can-do attitude. “I knew what I had to do and I did it.” Seems like she’s followed that same philosophy in pursuing her dreams for the future, too. Visit Corey’s at 119 N. Cochran Ave., Charlotte, (517) 543-2200.
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.