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The Sweet Spot Opens in East Hampton

Mon, 05/22/2023 - 14:51
Tom Cooper, center, is excited to bring a "mom-and-pop feel" back to East Hampton Village at the Sweet Spot, which he and his wife, Maureen, will run with help from Michele Brown, the manager, left, and Daunette Easy, right.
Carissa Katz

The Sweet Spot, a frozen yogurt and candy shop opening Friday in a brand-new building on Newtown Lane in East Hampton, is a reminder of a different era, in all the best ways. 

"We wanted to bring a mom-and-pop feel back to the village," said Tom Cooper, who built the building and owns the shop with his wife, Maureen, a teacher. They both grew up in East Hampton and have fond memories of the long-gone places they frequented as kids: Think Marley's for candy, stationary, and toys and Dreesen's for donuts. 

The Sweet Spot will have 15 different flavors of self-serve frozen yogurt, including some nondairy choices, and a toppings bar. It will serve milkshakes with all sorts of add-ins, nitro cold-brew coffee and coffee drinks, doughnut holes -- cutely branded as "spots" -- baked on site and offered with any of the fro-yo toppings; house-made cookies, and bags of classic candies. 

It will be open year-round, and the Coopers are betting on the shop being an after-school hit. Every East Hampton High School student walking to town at the end of the day will pass it, it's just a block and a half from the middle school, and the John M. Marshall Elementary School is right around the corner. The couple live just up the street and sent both of their sons to East Hampton schools. 

The new brick building took the place of a former dry cleaner that Mr. Cooper knocked down last spring. On the ground floor, there's the Sweet Spot, its commercial kitchen, and the office for his company. Upstairs, there's a two-bedroom apartment that will be rented to a teacher/coach. It's a model that every new commercial building should aspire to. 

When he was developing the site, Mr. Cooper knew it would have a food business, but he didn't know at the time that he and his wife would be the ones running it. "She teases me. She knew I wanted to do something," he said on Friday. "We wanted to try something different. We've both been doing our jobs for 25 years" -- he does mostly residential construction; she teaches 4-year-old prekindergartners at the Amagansett School. Learning how to run the business included attending an ice cream-and-sweets convention in Orlando, Fla. 

Day-to-day operations will be overseen by Michele Brown, the manager, and Daunette Easy, both food-service veterans who used to work at the former Mary's Marvelous across the street.

In the summer, the Sweet Spot will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Winter hours might be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., but the Coopers are open to adding morning coffee and donuts, if they can find the staff. "A lot of this is going to be gauged off of how the community responds . . . how we grow together," Mr. Cooper said.

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