Gilligan's Sweet Treats, located at 2449 State Street in Chester, opened for business in May 2021.
Owned by Jennifer Lochhead, the business is managed by her daughter Ava Lochhead, who represents the fifth generation of business operators in Chester. Ava's father, Tony Lochhead, co-owns and operates the Uptown Barber Shop in Chester. His father, Mike Lochhead, is owner of Lochhead's Service Station. Ava's great-grandfather, the late Dean Lochhead, also owned a local service station, as did Ava's great-great-grandfather, the late James Lochhead. And so the beat goes on.
Gilligan's is open seven days a week, 4 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. Having found a niche that was currently not addressed in Chester, the business opened as an outdoor ice cream shop extraordinaire, serving a wide variety of ice cream and frozen yogurt from a relatively small retrofitted trailer.
Very soon the owners added several outdoor tables, complete with umbrellas, to the ample parking lot area surrounding the trailer. Having opened in the spring as weather was warming, business was immediate and grew quickly. As business grew, so did the menu, according to Jennifer Lochhead.
In the fall the business moved indoors to a building on the property, also owned by Jennifer Lochhead. The interior of the business has been redecorated from its former use and features ample tables and chairs for indoor seating. An enlarged menu now includes a wide assortment of pizzas, cheese sticks, pretzel bites, soft drinks, and lots of ice cream products. "We want this to be a year-round business, not just ice cream," said Ava Lochhead.
Last month the Chester Chamber of Commerce held an official ribbon cutting. "We're very happy to welcome this new business to Chester," said Chamber President Bob Welker. "It represents growth to the community."