Fonzie would approve.
The Fonz, for those of you too young to be familiar with the TV sitcom, was a leather-clad, motorcycle-riding “greaser” played by Henry Winkler. The show was Happy Days and it kept most of my friends including myself glued to the set when it ran from 1974 to 1984.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Bolton you’ll find another version of Happy Days right in our downtown core. As you step through the entrance you’re greeted by the smell of freshly-made waffle cones and décor reminiscent of another era with just a hint of 2015.
James and Tammy, new to the area in 2011, were out for dinner the following year with Bolton friends. “One of them asked if we knew Happy Days was for sale”, James explains, “and we said what’s Happy Days”? They told us that it was this great little ice cream parlour and the next thing you know dinner is over and there we are, in the middle of January, standing outside the shop peering in the windows”.
“We went home and talked about it” James continues “and decided if we were going to “do something” we should do it now”. Doing something translated into buying the business and they were off on a new adventure.
The former owners, from 2008 to 2011, were the Brooksbanks and James and Tammy give them lots of credit in helping them through the transition. “They literally had a manual,” says Tammy, “and they willingly shared. Not just the manual but their time as well. If we had questions one of them would show up to assist.”
“As well we kept the staff, who were so wonderful and knowledgeable, they really trained us” Tammy smiles. And the business grew. Today James and Tammy estimate they serve 1200 to 1500 scoops per week.
The couple shares the workload. James is in charge of ordering supplies, managing inventory and reveling in customer service. Tammy, who has another job in office administration at an IT company, looks after scheduling and the payroll.
Back to what they are famous for, Happy Days is sure to appeal to your taste buds with 32 flavours of hand-scooped ice cream and 8 flavours of frozen yogurt.
And Fall flavours have just arrived. Leave room after dinner, or on a sunny afternoon, for (are you ready?) St. Jacob’s Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Toasted S’mores!
Recently, after an unexpected sale of the building, James and Tammy found themselves in the market for a new location on short notice. True to character they turned a negative in to a positive and, moving just a few doors away, they have reopened their shop at 5 Queen Street north.
Over the winter months James often goes out “into remote areas in the great white north” working for a precious metals exploration company. He loves being outdoors and the adventure. “But I’ll be thinking, as will Tammy, about what we will do next year to expand the menu and extend the season!” he adds.
As our interview closes both Tammy and James express gratitude for the friends who jumped in and helped with their move, and the community, both residents and local businesses, who have shown them so much support.
“We feel truly fortunate and want people to know we appreciate how they have treated us and this business. It really is an amazing community”.
Happy Days is currently open Noon until 9:00 p.m. daily until Thanksgiving Monday, and longer if Mother Nature blesses us with a nice mild fall!
The Fonz would approve.
The Shop: 5 Queen Street north, Bolton
Facebook: Happy Days Ice Cream Parlour Inc