Housemade ice cream and cute pups are part of the festivities at Fête
City's newest ice cream shop and café is run by two former dancers and is attached to a dog park
“Yay! You’re here!”, the cheerful wall art declares.
This is exactly how you feel when you walk through the door of Fête Ice Cream and Coffee. You’re welcomed by an embrace of bright, warm colours and a funky, whimsical décor that’s effortlessly trendy. The communal tables and benches offer a cozy spot to take in the can’t-help-but-make-you-smile view of dogs romping in Bonnycastle dog park next door.
They’re already getting to know the regulars and their owners too. They can’t allow the dogs inside the shop but your furry friends are welcome to “pup” by and snap a photo to feature on the “Doggie Wall of Fame.” Definitely a reason to celebrate!
Not only do they welcome you in, but they can’t wait to serve you a hot drink and a big scoop of their homemade ice cream. Also maybe a cookie, if you’re lucky.
Owners Élise Page and Teri-Lynn Friesen offer to brew you up an array of espresso drinks from coffee roasted and supplied by Gimli, MB's Flatland Coffee Roasters and Detour Coffee Roasters in Hamilton. If you're not keen on coffee, they also make a luxurious hot chocolate and keep a stock of Amsterdam Tea Room's teas.
If you’re feeling cheeky, ask for an affogato - a drink that merges both their house specialities. It features a scoop of their tantalizing ice cream with a shot of espresso, which they refer to jokingly as “half-melted ice cream and cold espresso” (it's actually awesome). With so many delicious flavours to choose from, it makes an elegant dessert into a fun, customizable experience.
The former dance instructors whip up their ice-cream on site, from scratch, using no artificial stabilizers. Flavours that will keep your tail wagging include lemon meringue pie, a habit-inducing salted caramel crack, gluten-free strawberry rhubarb and a dairy-free London Fog that has already converted at least one dairy farmer.
These recipes have been refined during countless hours in the University of Manitoba’s Dairy Science lab, where the duo learned the basics of making ice cream in batches big enough to share. From there, they started working the local farmers' market circuit in 2019, all while developing 16 mainstays that they, and their grandmas, can be proud of.
(That said, one flavour that might be outside of granny's wheelhouse is the cereal-filled "Breakfast of Champs," which may bring you back to memories of Saturday morning cartoons.)
Friesen and her husband Chad also own Abiding Citizen Craft Beverage Company, which produces shrubs, syrups and bitters for craft cocktails and mocktails, which you can also purchase at the shop.
Page and Friesen describe Fête Ice Cream and Coffee as “a cheeky cousin to the fancy restaurant” that cares about the same things - the quality of their confection and sharing their passion with their guests. After getting over a few hiccups and a bump, the duo were excited to finally welcome people into their shop as of November 15th. They say they’ve created a space where they can be themselves and “come in every day and feel happy.” This translates into the fun and approachable atmosphere that is Fête. If you’re a fan of puppies, strong coffee or luscious ice cream, this is the place for you.
And if you can’t remember affogato, just tell them “affogato what it’s called!”
Fete is open Sunday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Jessica Dawn is a freelance writer based in Winnipeg. Fascinated by world at large, she makes hobbies of abstract photography, petting cute animals and indulging in whatever media she can squeeze in between projects. You can find more of her work at www.jdlitterature.com