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New Deerfield frozen yogurt shop offers escape from summer heat

Owner Daren Melnik, in back wtih employees Jess Piragis, Chelsea Royal and Hattie Harvey, in KD's Tasty Eats and Treats at 222 Greenfield Rd in South Deerfield with self serve frozen yogurt and a deli to come.  Recorder/Paul Franz

Owner Daren Melnik, in back wtih employees Jess Piragis, Chelsea Royal and Hattie Harvey, in KD's Tasty Eats and Treats at 222 Greenfield Rd in South Deerfield with self serve frozen yogurt and a deli to come. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

SOUTH DEERFIELD — As the hot, humid days of summer continue to push thermometers ever higher, many local residents are likely looking for good ways to cool down and one new Deerfield business, KD’s Tasty Eats and Treats, has a solution: frozen yogurt.

The shop, located in a back portion of the New England Candle Co. building on Routes 5 and 10, is co-owned by Deerfield resident Daren Melnik and his wife, Kelly, and offers a plethora of frosty flavors that customers can self-serve into cups and top with a variety of syrups, fruit, nuts and candy.

“This is something that my wife and I just wanted to do,” Melnik, 37, said, of the family’s decision to open the store. “It seemed like a good idea for the community. We want it to be the go-to place for families to hang out and have a good time.”

Flavors available at the shop include tropical fruit sorbet, strawberry, Tahitian vanilla, cheesecake and mint chocolate chip. Customers can choose from 62 different toppings ranging from sour gummy worms, chocolate chips and M&Ms to granola, shaved coconut and locally grown strawberries. Each of the five serving stations has two single-flavor taps and a third that combines the two to produce a unique flavor.

“Combining the strawberry and birthday cake flavors will make strawberry shortcake and mixing the tropical sorbet with the vanilla gives you a tropical creamsicle,” Melnik said, as he demonstrated how the machines work.

Melnik said he hopes that the shop will serve as a venue for community group activities and events in the future, such as birthday parties and hosting “Cookies and Canvas” nights, where parents and children will be given a picture to paint any way they choose.

The first such event, a Teddy Bear Picnic Night to which patrons will be encouraged to bring their favorite stuffed animals, will be held July 7 at 6 p.m.

According to Melnik, the couple plans to add a deli to the shop by the end of July, where patrons will be able to order fresh sandwiches, soups and paninis. He noted that all of the produce that the deli and toppings bar will use will be sourced from local farmers and that the deli meats will be purchased as locally as possible.

The shop, which opened June 7, isn’t Melnik’s first venture into the world of business, either. He currently owns D. Melnik Trucking Co. in Deerfield, where he provides hauling services for local companies and farms. He said that he and his wife, who works as a nurse in Greenfield, will both maintain their full-time jobs and the store’s employees will run the shop during the day time. He said they were inspired to open a frozen yogurt shop in part by their three children, Jaden, 8, Sofia, 4, and Cole, 2.

“We wanted them to have something for the future and they can work here as they grow older,” he said.

So far, Melnik said, they seem enthusiastic. “They think it’s awesome and they like the idea of having a business. They’re already showing interest in learning and working, even at this young age,” Melnik said.

“Hopefully, we will be able to turn this into an attraction where families in the town and surrounding communities will want to come and relax,” he said. “My wife and I are very family oriented and that’s what we’re trying to bring here.”

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