With its famous handcrafted ice cream and enough candy to make Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas erupt into song, the Sweet Life opens its doors today in the Mountain Village Plaza. Telluride’s sister store is located in a sunny corner shop on the ground floor of the Franz Klammer building – in the space previously occupied by Telluride Ski Resort Visitor Services.
“This was an element of the Core that was really missing,” says Sweet Life co-owner Jen Hayes, who says she had her eye on that corner location for nearly two years. “There are so many families up in the Village – both visitors and locals – that just don’t go into town that often.” Hayes and business partner Kenny Rosen decided that rather than waiting for Mountain Village sweet tooths to come to them, they would bring The Sweet Life to the Mountain Village.
After sealing the deal a mere four weeks ago, Hayes and Rosen embarked on a whirlwind remodel with the goal of opening their doors in time for the rush of visitors over President’s Weekend. The extreme makeover transformed the once-dim Telski office into a bright and playful command center for all things sweet.
“We were going for a Willy Wonka-esque look,” Hayes says of the new store’s design, which boasts a ribbon of painted-on candy buttons on the front counter post, a bluebird sky with dreamy marshmallow clouds for a ceiling, electric blue and lollipop pink walls, and The Sweet Life’s characteristic black-and-white checkered tile flooring.
A nod toward Hayes’s own fanciful sense of style is in the disco ball fan, mounted on the ceiling in the front candy room where the spinning and shimmering mirrors reflect off stacked bins of rainbow-colored candy. The combination makes for a mesmerizing kaleidoscope effect, visible from the outside through the room’s elongated window that frame’s the Mountain Village fire pit.
The new Mountain Village Sweet Life boasts even more candy than the downtown Telluride store – the new location also will host a wider selection of retail goods. Hayes says that with more wall space, the new shop will be able to offer a wider variety of T-shirts, bags, hats, and accessories, as well as Telluride memorabilia.
At only 500 square feet (700 square feet less than its Telluride location) the new Mountain Village Sweet Life will not offer savory food from the grill. All ice cream will continue to be made at the main street location, where ice cream crafter Rosen has created 250 different ice cream flavors, many of which have been named after local personalities.
Rosen and Hayes opened their first store in Telluride three-and-a-half years ago. Today’s opening of Sweet Life in Mountain Village represents what Rosen and Hayes hope will be beginning of many more Sweet Life stores in other ski resort towns.
“This was a great stepping stone for us, to learn to open a new store while improving our business product,” Hayes says. She says The Sweet Life is currently eyeing potential Sweet Life locations in Snowmass Village, Colo., Jackson Hole, Wyo., Lake Tahoe, Calif., and more.
“We want to take what we feel is a successful local business and really establish it as a truly great business,” Hayes says.
With today’s opening of the Sweet Life in Mountain Village, Hayes reminds those with namesake ice cream flavors to stop in to get their photos taken for the new store’s signs. Why not satisfy that afternoon sweet tooth while you’re at it?