Making cherished memories with his son was enough motivation for Garrett Dennis to create a fresh dessert concept for Huntsville. As a new father, he was handed an opportunity to develop a treat shop near downtown that offers an assortment of confections in endless flavors. Over the weekend, Twickenham Treats opened to happy families who were greeted by candy lined walls, heaps of house-made gelato, caramel apples, and much more.
“Nine months ago, I became a dad,” smiled Garrett, Twickenham Treats owner. “Having a son takes me back to memories of my childhood when I shared fun experiences with my family. It’s important to me that my son has the same happy times to reflect on one day, which is why I decided to create that experience myself.”
The locally owned and operated dessert shop, managed by Garrett, his wife Alison Dennis, and his mother, Mitzi Dennis, offers made-in-house gelato, fresh popcorn, candy, and other traditional treats. After years of success running Cabana Wax, Garrett and Alison were looking for a new concept to place in the space next door. At the same time, Mitzi was retiring from a 25-year-long career as a teacher and school principal. She agreed to contribute her treat-making skills and passion for creating fun experiences for children to the new venture. Inspired by the sights and smells you would encounter at a treat shop on vacation, the trio immediately got to work ironing out ideas. Four months later, Twickenham Treats became a reality, illuminated by a three-foot, yellow “GELATO” sign in its window.
Located at the Twickenham Square retail center, the new treat parlor is adjacent to Huntsville Hospital and within a bustling development that houses Publix, Another Broken Egg, Cabana Wax, Pants Store, Taco Mama, Mei Wei, Cajun Steamer, Supercuts, UPS Store, and Beaute Nail Spa. Inside the dessert-filled oasis, handmade Rice Krispie Treats, cookies, and candied apples abound—a feast for the eyes for everyone with a sweet tooth.
However, the Dennises were quick to mention that Twickenham Treats serves up more than sweets.
“We wanted a concept that appealed to different members of the family. For some, that means three scoops of banana pudding gelato or a sliced chocolate caramel apple. For others, it could mean hot, movie-theater-style popcorn.”
In addition to treats and drinks, Twickenham Treats offers a collection of classic toys–almost all under $10–such as invisible ink coloring books, Mr.& Mrs. Potato Head, playing cards, Rubik’s cubes, toy cars, and also some simple sensory toys. The entire toy collection is non-electronic and ready to be played with immediately—no batteries or assembly needed.
Twickenham Treats is now open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“How do we want the shop to make people feel?” Garrett repeated the question. “In a word, joyful. We have a sign just inside the shop’s entrance that says, ‘These are the Good Old Days.’ We knew a big part of the experience would come down to the design of the store and making it stand out as a place of fun and nostalgia.”
The shop’s walls are lined with red and white stripes—a modern take on the traditional candy shop vibe that some may remember from movies like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But it’s still uniquely Huntsville, sleek and lighthearted. There’s also comfortable indoor seating that’s different than the typical metal chairs you’d find in an ice cream parlor.
While the décor is beautiful, it’s the colorful spread of gelato that steals the show. Classic flavors like vanilla, milk chocolate, and strawberry are encased beside more eclectic choices like mint, coffee, cookies and cream, and even two flavors the Dennises worked with Baby Bite Bake Shop owner Emily Sharman to create: birthday cake and red velvet. That’s right! Two of the gelato flavors have Baby Bites in them. Garrett also said there will be light sorbets and seasonal flavors that rotate, including a current option, pina colada and flora, a flavor the Dennises created that consists of almond milk, cherries, and lavender.
Toppings, such as Ghirardelli salted caramel sauce, gummy bears, and mini chocolate chip cookies, are also available.
Developing an experience that children would remember was important to Garrett. So, guests may be treated to free stickers, glow sticks, or other fun giveaways. Holidays will also be special at the shop, with hosted events like gingerbread house-making for Christmas or Halloween trick-or-treating.
“Kids will love the shop, yes,” said Garrett. “But for the rest of us, it will be a small escape from the pressures of adult life. Who doesn’t want to show up after work and grab a handful of their favorite candies? Or finish off a date night with some gelato made 10 feet from where it was served? Twickenham Treats is a carefree getaway that caters to everyone.”
Head over to Twickenham Treats today and give them a try! They are located at Twickenham Square shopping center next to the Dennises’ other business, Cabana Wax.
After 25 years in the corporate world serving as an accountant, Teresa Brodie had to decide what to do next. Keeping her current position would mean moving to St. Louis, Missouri—something she knew she didn’t want. Teresa is an only child and wanted to stay close to her parents in Athens. That’s when she says God stepped in to choose for her. She would leave her desk job behind and purchase a gift shop in Athens, Alabama. That shop was called Pimentos.
Eleven years ago, Matt McLellan moved back to Decatur, Alabama, after earning his degree from Auburn University. It was 2008 and jobs were scarce; finding an internship or an entry-level position was challenging. Rather than sit back and wait for an opportunity, Matt decided to pursue his dedication to health and fitness on another level.
“In Auburn, there was a sports nutrition store that offered all kinds of high-quality products at fair prices without having to wait for online orders,” said Matt, Owner and Founder of Absolute Nutrition. “It was my favorite local shop. Once I moved back to Decatur, I wondered if something similar would do well there. After a lot of research and surveys at nearby gyms, I decided to go for it. That’s when I founded Absolute Nutrition and opened our first store.”