Young and Hungry

Velatis Caramels to Revive Its Past in Another Way: Sell Ice Cream

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The original Velatis on Ninth and G streets (as opposed to the "Original Velatis," which just reopened in Silver Spring) was more than just a caramel shop. Consider former WaPo food writer Walter Nicholls' words from a 1999 story: 

The interior of the shop never seemed to change from one decade to the next. Just inside the front entrance was a classic, six-stool soda fountain where mothers and daughters dropped their bags and enjoyed an ice cream soda. There were beautiful, hand-polished wood and glass showcases that ran the length of the shop for the display of 10 varieties of the housemade caramels in chocolate and vanilla, some with nuts, another with a marshmallow core. Tall glass jars with every color of peppermint stick candy lined the counters. Fresh-filled chocolates were made by the P.G. Whunderly Co. of Philadelphia.

The Servais family, which now owns the Velatis name and recipes, plans to revive the shop's ice cream brand, if not its soda fountain where you could enjoy those creamy floats over a marble counter. Co-owner Amy Servais says the Silver Spring shop should be selling ice cream by this summer, including one with (of course) Velatis caramel swirled in the middle. Other possible flavors: blackcherry brandy and rocky road.

The revived Velatis will also move into baked goods, Servais says. By this spring, the shop should start pushing sticky buns, cakes, caramel-drizzled brownies, truffle cookies, and (of course) caramel cupcakes.

The official grand opening of Velatis will be the week of March 15-20. It likely won't be the last store opening, either. The Servais family has plans to launch other outlets, including one possibly in the District, just to bring the Velatis story full circle.

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