The quiet Skyland neighborhood has a sweet new dessert shop, Sweet Sweetz, located near the intersection of York and 28th. The sweet-tooth satisfying, family-owned business is operated by Lodene Turner along with her daughter, Erin, and her sister, Bobby. The dessert store serves a variety of Blue Bell Ice Cream flavors and homemade baked goods such as chocolate covered pretzels, cherry pies and peach cobblers. In addition to their sweet temptations, which you can buy in-store or order online, Sweet Sweetz is committed to a bigger mission that supports the local community by providing a positive gathering space for youth and families.
Opening the shop has been a labor of love for Turner, whose childhood nickname was “Sweet Sweetz.” A Denver resident since age seven and a graduate of Manual High School in the nearby Whittier neighborhood, Turner noticed a lack of indoor community activity centers in Aurora. Taking action, she joined forces with other passionate citizens and worked hard to establish more recreational centers in Aurora where youth and families could visit.
After accomplishing her goal, Turner was motivated and seeking a new venture. She dreamed of opening a neighborhood ice cream or coffee shop where young kids could hang out and stay occupied in a positive atmosphere. Around the same time, Turner and her daughter enjoyed making chocolate-covered strawberries for friends and family.
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The popularity of their gourmet chocolate-covered creations transformed into a catering request for a baby shower and contributions for local bake sales. With the vision for a community shop still in the back of her mind, Turner approached her daughter and sister about teaming up to make the dream of a community shop into a reality. Realizing how delicious Bobby’s pies and cobblers were paired with ice cream and how creative Erin’s chocolate desserts were, Turner recalls how her vision expanded to include the creations of her sister and daughter — and so Sweet Sweetz was born.
With their idea solidified, the team secured a location near the church Turner attends in Skyland (just north of City Park and the Denver Zoo), transforming an old laundromat into an ice cream shop — not an easy task, as the building had been vacant for almost twenty years. To help establish their business, Turner and her family created a GoFundMe page to collect donations and held many fundraisers by selling desserts. From one simple idea to a grand opening, Sweet Sweetz has been a family project and community effort every step of the way — a thought that makes Turner proud.
Stop by Sweet Sweetz at 2325 East 28th Avenue for weekend grand-opening festivities, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m on Saturday, July 13, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 14, where you can meet these inspirational ladies, enjoy some local live music, gobble up delicious desserts, and play games for all ages. We recommend grabbing a slice of blueberry pie topped with a scoop of strawberry ice cream.