Jody Viers Stapler: J’s Sweet Treats and J’s Sweet Treats Ice Cream ParlorJun 21st, 2012 | By Mike Schwartz | Category: Front Page, People
J’s Sweet Treats and J’s Sweet Treats Ice Cream Parlor is located on the Southeast corner of the Elizabethtown Square. It is one of several new food-related businesses in Elizabethtown. The owner is Jody Viers Stapler. Jodi grew up in Elizabethtown. She has been an entertainer since her childhood. During her childhood years, she performed at the Fulton Opera House, the Ephrata Performing Arts Center, the Elizabethtown Music Foundation, and the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre. After high school she moved to New York, pursuing show business, and eventually landed in Los Angeles. During those years, she performed in commercials, off-Broadway, and landed background parts in movies and television. In her 20’s, she moved backed to Pennsylvania with her future husband and continued to perform with local bands. She started a children’s theater in New Holland in the early 2000’s. Around the same time, she began creating carved 3D cakes for her oldest son’s birthday parties. Shortly after, others asked her to create cakes and other items for their family events. This eventually resulted in a home bakery business. The Elizabethtown Journal spoke with Jodi about J’s Sweet Treats.
EJ: When did J’s Sweet Treats and J’s Sweet Treats Ice Cream Parlor open for business? (Editor’s note: J’s Sweet treats is located directly on the square and the ice cream parlor is in the rear of the bakery with an entrance around the corner on High Street)
JVS: Hoping for the luck of the Irish, the bakery began on March 17. The Ice Cream Parlor opened on May 25.
EJ: Have you had a restaurant business previous to J’s Sweet Treats?
JVS: I ran a home bakery.
EJ: What attracted you to Elizabethtown and the location which you chose for J’s Sweet Treats?
JVS: I grew up on West High Street and always considered Elizabethtown my home. When we moved back from living all over the country, I was so saddened by all of the businesses coming and going. I want Etown to be the charming successful town it used to be. The other towns around us used to wish to be like us and now it seems like we are trying to catch up to them. We need to bring back the downtown area and get the Etownians to feel pride in their town again!
EJ: What do you offer on the menu?
JVS: Our day-to-day focus is our cupcakes, but we also have pastries, cake pops, and other little treats. We make pies, cakes, and specialty carved and tiered cakes on a made to order basis. We have over 66 flavor combinations that we use for all of our cake items. In the ice cream parlor, our case holds up to 20 flavors and we usually have 16-20 different kinds of ice cream. We offer the “normal” sundaes, as well as, specialty sundaes that include our bakery items
EJ: Is there anything we should look for in the future regarding J’s Sweet Treats? For example, are there any regular special offerings or special menu items?
JVS: Starting tomorrow evening (Friday, June 22), we are adding J’s Etown Ice Cream Beatdown!!! — ten scoops of ice cream of your choice, three cupcakes of your choice, four toppings, our handmade whipped cream, and four cherries! 60 minutes to eat it, no vomiting, and no bathroom use, and you must be able to keep it down for 10 minutes after eating! If you beat it you will get it free and your picture on our wall!!! Of course, if a group of people want to come in and order it and eat it as a group; they can do that as well.
EJ: You are currently organizing a regular community business event, Etown Night Out: Fourth Fridays. Could you explain the motivation behind this effort and the progress which you have made?
JVS: Well, the motivation was exactly as I previously mentioned. I want people to have pride in our town and see what the downtown has to offer. Unfortunately, I hear all the time that people never come downtown and avoid driving through it. I think Fourth Fridays will give people the opportunity to see what we have to offer and enjoy a little of what the local businesses, the Chamber, and the borough are trying to do for Etown. (Editor’s note: The inaugural Fourth Friday is Friday, June 22. Included in the events are music by Tim Rinard, nail painting, artists, electronic games, and more.)
EJ: What was the biggest challenge in opening J’s Sweet Treats? What surprised you the most or was unexpected in the process?
JVS: Definitely, the worst part of owning your own business is the paperwork and employee management.
EJ: Thank you and good luck.