Alyssa J Buffington ~ The Scoop on Raynham’s New Ice Cream Shop

When Becky Fernandes leased the former Raynham Jewelry in Dean’s Plaza on Route 44 last March, it seemed like another forgettable store in a complex. Little did anyone suspect that the space next to Phat Daddy’s Smoke Shop and Hearing Life would flourish into Raynham’s premier ice cream shop: Frankie & Dia’s.
Becky Fernandes named Frankie & Dia’s after her two daughters – twelve-year-old Frankie and nine-year-old Dia – cementing the family appeal of the store. Open in May of 2020, Frankie & Dia’s serves quality ice cream, plus hot cocoa for the winter months. Until this March, the store was the only ice cream shop in Raynham, bringing the joy of sharing a cone with loved ones back home. That sense of togetherness was a founding principle in Fernandes’s vision.
“In the warmer months, we would always find ourselves going out for ice cream, so we wanted to open something that was more community-based,” she said.
The ice cream shop is meant to give families a rest to come together and relax. Of course, creating an atmosphere like this was the product of hard work and some difficult circumstances. Due to the spread of Covid, the shop walked a thin line of success for many months.
Becky and her husband Chris opened the ice cream shop in May, following guidelines and constantly cleaning making for an interesting start to a new business venture.
“We’ve never been in the ice cream business before,” said Becky. The couple did, however, have business experience; they are still trying to get their fitness studio, Relevé Barre Studio back in shape since its Covid shutdown.
The shop’s initial moderate success became major when a gamble paid off in the winter months. Once the cold moved in, Frankie & Dia’s started serving an essential treat: hot chocolate. Specialty cocoa and hot cocoa bombs became a hit with residents, leading to an influx of new customers. Even before the season ended, Becky and Chris knew they were onto something.
The influx of loyal customers doesn’t only come from the treats but from the welcoming atmosphere of the shop. The interior is a small and cozy waiting area with intimate seating for groups. Although it’s not used for its optimal seating due to Covid, the place waits for when large groups can relax within. More than anything, the Fernandes wanted to create a space for families to enjoy and the community to come together.
Says Becky, “Customer service is our number one thing. My biggest pet peeve is an employee that seems disinterested.”
This dedication to a friendly ambiance is what keeps families coming back for that next cone.
“It’s been my favorite job so far, the environment is really friendly,” said Madison Richards, an employee working there while home from college.
So, what future do the Fernandes see for their little ice cream shop? There are many things they wish to implement, especially once Covid has died down enough. For one thing, Becky had dreamed the ice cream shop would have a lively outdoor space. Seated near a little alcove overlooking the Taunton River, the couple hopes to see families enjoying nature while they dine, perhaps watching a kayaker wading by. The shop also desires to host several community events, along with games and other activities to enjoy while eating. In the long term, the couple doesn’t see any major additions happening to their menu.
As Chris explains, “We want to stay with quality ice cream and hot cocoa for the foreseeable future,” keeping their focus on serving “a good quality product to the community.”
As summer returns and the world comes out of its shell a bit more, one day soon the lawn at Frankie and Dia’s will be littered with families watching the sun shine off the river while chatting and drinking their milkshakes. Until that day, the future of the Fernandes’ hometown ice cream shop is as bright as ever.