Vacca Territory Creamery nears opening

By Terry Groover

Staff Writer

Small-batch ice cream and hot coffee, cappuccino and lattes are on their way to Yukon.

Owners Mike Gray and Chris Henry plan to open Vacca Territory Creamery and Coffeehouse in the 10 West Main business complex within the next few days. They are awaiting the arrival of several pieces of equipment to help make their dream complete.

The pair had originally hoped to open their ice cream shop in October. However, once they began construction their plans changed.

“We started as a creamery concept with small-batch ice cream made on site, but halfway through we wanted to be the first owned and operated coffee house in Yukon,” Gray said.

There are other coffee shops in Yukon, but none are locally owned. Gray and Henry said they wanted to change that.

Because of the addition of coffee products, the pair had to do a lot of research.

“We wanted to make sure we got the coffee-side of the project right,” Gray said.

It also meant changing how the shop was set up with the additional equipment that would be needed.

“We stopped talking about opening dates,” he said.

Everyone in the family pitched in to help with the project, from tiling the counter to staining the floors to building benches.

It is a true family project.

Gray’s father was doing some touch-up work Thursday, and had been in the building a few days earlier to paint.

Friends helped develop the company’s mascot, a cow, and Gray’s mother was helping with some of the interior design.

Thursday’s project was to install the store’s new cappuccino machine, a project Gray and Henry planned to tackle themselves.

“We want to make sure it is right,” Gray said.

Gray will handle most of the day-to-day business, while Henry, who works in the banking industry, will handle the financial side.

Gray said the creamery will offer a variety of gourmet coffee products, including cappuccinos, frappuccino-style and latte-style drinks. Breakfast foods also will be available for early risers.

Ice cream will be offered throughout the day, all of which will be produced in-house using an Italian-based technique called semifreddo.

 “It is handmade on site and distributed from this location. We will be constantly making it and selling it within a short period of time,” Gray said.

“ The end of product will be great ice cream. It will be hand-processed and hand-whipped,” he said. “It comes out very creamy, very rich.”

The menu is expected to contain about 12 flavors, all made in-house, including traditional flavors, seasonal flavors and what Gray said is the store’s signature flavor – brown butter maple pecan.

“We are ready for this. We are very excited,” Gray said.

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