Family hopes to keep Tasty Top tradition alive in Easthampton

  • Tasty Top at 99 Northampton St. (Rt. 10) in Easthampton. Photographed on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. STAFF FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • 150 Northampton St. Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • 150 Northampton St. Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 5/15/2022 12:42:44 PM
Modified: 5/15/2022 12:40:57 PM

EASTHAMPTON — A former summertime staple in Easthampton could be making its return at a new location, if approved by the city’s Planning Board. 

Nickolis Dulude of Holyoke has submitted a special permit application to run Tasty Top ice cream out of the showroom and office space of the former Hampshire Auto And Truck Sales dealership at 150 Northampton St. – just up the street from Tasty Top’s original location at 97 Northampton St. 

Dulude reopened Tasty Top at its original location last summer, having leased the stand from longtime property owner Dennis M. Courtney. Before Dulude, the stand had not served customers since 2014. 

With the proposed new location, Dulude would be running Tasty Top with the help of his parents, Jodi and Pic Dulude, who owns Pic’s Pub and Pizzeria in Holyoke. For now, the plan is to lease the property with an option to purchase if all goes according to plan, according to Jodi Dulude. 

“Tasty Top has been a staple in Easthampton,” she said, adding that the ice cream shop is sprinkled throughout her children’s memories. “We’d like to carry on that legacy.”

Much like he did at the original ice cream stand, Dulude hopes to be able to offer the popular black raspberry flavor at the seasonal business. 

Jodi Dulude said that there are three existing windows at the 150 Northampton St. site that will be used as takeout windows. The retail space next to the office will be used for dry goods and storage. The parking lot will be reopened so that customers know where to park.

Evolving interest

Previously, the property that includes Tasty Top as well as Easthampton Golf range – listed originally as 93-97 Northampton St. – has attracted a few proposals in the past few years, including a Stop & Shop plaza and a marijuana business. 

After Stop & Shop halted its plans to construct a grocery store, Courtney, trustee of a family trust that owns the land, listed the property in November 2018 for $3 million.

In March, the Planning Board approved a special permit to construct and operate a drive-thru Starbucks on a 37,276-square-foot subdivision of the 32.78-acre property at 93 Northampton St. between Burger King and Tasty Top.

To make room for the construction of the 2,217-square-foot Starbucks drive-thru and off-street lot with 33 parking spaces, the small building designated for the rental golf equipment will be razed. 

On April 11, Courtney Easthampton LLC sold the 93-97 Northampton St. to Tasty Top Development LLC for $2.2 million, according to Hampshire County Registry of Deeds. 

Tasty Top Development is registered to Frank A. DeMarinis, who owns Sage Engineering & Contracting, Inc. of Westfield. DeMarinis did not return calls for comment, and it is still unclear as to what will happen to the Tasty Top building and the golf range.  

In reviewing the deed documents, City Planner Jeff Bagg said “that it appears that was all the property except the lot that is slated for Starbucks.”

The Dulude family hopes to keep the Tasty Top name as the land was sold, not the business name, according to Jodi Dulude. 

“We see a lot of potential with Tasty Top,” she said. “We could see (the business) being open well into the fall.”

The Planning Board is expected to review Dulude’s special permit application on Tuesday, May 17, according to Bagg. 

Emily Thurlow can be reached at ethurlow@gazettenet.com.

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