Deborah Ann's Sweet Shoppe, popular chocolate shop in Ridgefield, to move to larger location

RIDGEFIELD — For 10 years, Deborah Ann Backes, co-owner of Deborah Ann's Sweet Shoppe on 381 Main St., wanted to be able to make cakes from her shop but she didn't have the space do to so. In a few weeks, however, that will change, when she relocates the business into a larger space in town, at 409 Main St.

At about 2,400 square feet, the new space, which Backes bought with her husband Michael Grissmer, is considerably larger than their current space, of about 1,800 square feet, which the couple is renting. 

"This is a major renovation," said Backes, a Ridgefield resident.  

The new location was previously part of Jesse Lee Church.

Construction on the building began last September, with demolition. The building, which has two floors, was built in 1880 and needed a new electrical system and air conditioning.

"We're adding an elevator  —  that was one of the major delays," Backes said.  "We wanted to make the whole building accessible. We built a lot of ramps."

New items, larger display, more seating

The cakes the couple will serve in their new location will be available in flavors including carnival, which is vanilla ice cream with Oreos, M&Ms and sprinkles; and birthday cake, which is cake batter ice cream with cake and frosting mixed in.

 Aside from cakes, they'll also be able to display many more ice cream flavors at a time. Sugar-free ice cream will join the menu. 

"We'll have room for seasonal flavors while keeping our everyday favorites," Backes said. 

Additionally, there'll be more seating available  — both inside and outside the shop.

Currently, they can seat about 14 people indoors, but the new location has space for 28, plus a second bathroom and a patio. 

"We leveled the ground in the front. It was a bit of an incline there so we leveled it all out and built a front patio, so that's gonna have a lot of seating," Backes said.  


Backes and Grissmer, who have two children, moved to town 24 years ago from Manhattan. Grissmer grew up in town. 
When the business first opened, it was located next door to the Ancient Mariner Restaurant in the Ridgefield Shopping Center. 

"That was tucked away in one of the little shopping centers," she said. "We wanted a Main Street location, so that's when we moved here."

After moving to their current location, they expanded when the ice cream shop next door to them closed. They now make all their ice cream on location. 

They also opened a kitchen in 2002 in Brookfield, where a lot of the chocolates are made. 

The shop gets very busy after school and in the evenings, Backes said.

"There's a couple of schools in the area so that kids come in after school," she said. "We're also busy nights when it's nice weather ... like on a Friday night, it gets very crowded. Then we get busy also at the holidays, for gifts and chocolates." 

For Halloween, they'll make molded chocolate items. They'll also sell candy corn and pumpkin ice cream.  
Backes said she and her husband are looking forward to the big move. 

"We love that it's in an historic part of Ridgefield and that we are bringing new life to it," she said.