by ann donnelly
This summer, husband and wife Doug Dockendorf and Shelly Walker expanded their shop and cafe in Malta by offering gourmet chocolates and fudge and further enhancing the adjacent outside area, Collamer Park.
In 2020, the couple purchased the Wiggins-Collamer House, which was built in 1835 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. After renovations, the building became the new location of Finishing Touches, where Walker, an interior designer, runs her business and sells furnishings, home decor, gifts, and accessories.
Within the first year, they added two new businesses at the location. They started with a small selection of ice cream, which proved popular, so they expanded as Cookies & Cream and Finishing Touches, with a full range of soft serve and hard ice cream in cones, dishes, sundaes, shakes and more.
Then they opened The Coffee Bar with coffee, lattes, espressos, cappuccino, and locally made baked goods from The Sugar Fairy Bakes.
“Anything you can get at Starbucks, you can get here, but better,” said Dockendorf. One of their specialties is affogato, an Italian-style drink made with ice cream and espresso, topped with chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Now they are the area’s exclusive seller of Chocolate Moonshine Co. gourmet chocolates and fudge, available by the piece or in gift packs. The fudge is made in copper kettles with cream, butter, and imported Belgian chocolate. They also offer truffle bars that are hand-painted with colored cocoa butter.
The enhanced outdoor seating area includes basketball courts, the area’s largest chess board, and other games like Connect 4 and cornhole.
“For us, it’s not about getting customers in and out,” said Dockendorf. “We are developing this as a place for the community. A place for people to go with their kids, relax, see their neighbors.”
They are considering holding events and offering other entertainment later in the summer. They will sell the soft serve ice cream until mid-October and bring out new flavors and products for fall.
“We are looking forward to having fun with Christmas,” said Walker.
Finishing Touches, Cookies & Cream and Finishing Touches, 450 East High St., Malta.