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Morano Gelato Renamed Nugget Scoops, Now Operated by The Hanover Improvement Society

Jul 28, 2020 12:16PM ● By Jessica Bowman
It seemed that Hanover was in dire need of an ice cream service. In May Morano Gelato announced it would not be re-opening due to problems operating an ice cream parlor under social distancing protocols. Shortly thereafter Noodle Station/The Swirl & Pearl, a frozen yogurt dispensary on Lebanon street announced it would also remain closed.

In came Jeff Graham, general manager of The Hanover Improvement Society, a non-profit organization that operates the Nugget Theaters, Storrs Pond Recreation Area , and the James W Campion III Ice Skating Rink. Graham decided there was an obvious need for an ice cream parlor in Hanover with both frozen treat wholesalers closed and dark. “Heck yeah,” he stated. “We own the building. We can hit the ground running.

The parlor, to be renamed Nugget Scoops, opened in early July, supplied by Northeast Kingdom Dairy, a third-generation family dairy in East Hardwick that supplies parlors in Vermont and New Hampshire. To Graham, opening Nugget Scoops was the only sensible solution.

“We feel right now everyone in town needs some ice cream,” Graham said. These have been trying times and amidst a global pandemic, Graham is holding onto the hope and joy that the little things in life can give us, such as ice cream. 

Of course, there will be restrictions on the parlor. Whereas Morano Gelato’s previous owner expressed concerns running the business Graham has an idea in mind to keep workers and customers safe while in the parlor.

There will be no indoor seating, but the patio will be open and the tables evenly spaced. Customers and workers alike will be required to wear a mask upon entering the parlor, the later will also be required plastic gloves. There will be six feet of indicators on the floor for customers to stand while they are standing in line.

Graham insists it will be a “place your order, pay, exit out the door,” situation while Covid-19 is still at full strength. The idea for Nugget Scoops is that it will be open this summer into the fall, closed during winter, and then re-opened next year in time for the students from Dartmouth college to come back to town en masse.

Graham also announced that Nugget Scoops would be staffed by high-school and college-aged locals who had previously worked at Nugget Theater but are idle while theaters remain closed. “We wanted to give them the first shot,” said Graham.

As far as The Nugget Scoops menu goes there are restrictions to that as well. Northeast Kingdom Dairy makes 20 different ice cream flavors but at least in the beginning Nugget Scoops will only have ten, including the top-selling maple. In addition, Nugget Scoops will only be selling hard-serve ice cream in cups and cones. Items like milkshakes and sundaes will be put on hold until further notice.

As this year progresses and Americans are faced with hardships Graham expects people are ready for a treat. No doubt locals and visitors alike will flock to Nugget Scoops to escape the heat and enjoy themselves at the storefront on South Main Street. Graham certainly hopes to see you there too, and don’t forget your mask.

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