Ice-cream and warm, sunny days are a recipe for success.
Tracey Whitehead thought so, at least, when she decided to open East End Ice Creamery at the site of the former Kiwi Waffle 'n' Cones on Zaara Street.
She and her husband, Chris, had purchased 40 Zaara Street earlier in the year and watched with interest the number of people pulling up outside the vacant ice-cream shop.
It had been run by the Rogers family for more than 25 years. However they ended their lease in April.
"COVID hit and we noticed that people kept coming in to get ice-cream. The nans and pops would pull up outside, families - but there was no ice-cream," Whitehead said.
"Even when they took the signage down people would still come because it's just such a Newcastle institution. We thought it would be a great opportunity to keep that tradition going."
The Whiteheads renovated the shop and spent several months learning all about ice-cream. They plan to make their own ice-cream on site eventually, but are happily serving Serendipity ice-cream for now.
"I first tasted Serendipity over 30 years ago and it stuck with me. I never forgot it," Whitehead said.
"It's an award-winning Sydney company that has been around since the '60s with no rubbish in it, no artificial colours or preservatives, and we're the only place in Newcastle who serves it."
East End Ice Creamery has only been open a month but customers are already returning to request their favourite flavours.
"We got Serendipity to create a bubblegum flavour for us. We did lots of taste testing and perfected it, and it's pretty special. Our kids love it," Whitehead said.
"Death by Chocolate is one of Serendipity's most awarded flavours, kind of like their signature, and then there's The New Black, which is chocolate with a caramel swirl all though it, it's divine.
"We can't run out of mint or people freak out, and rum and raisin, licorice and Jaffa are popular too. Traditional flavours but really high quality."
A cold brew affogato is on the to-do list, as are "spiders" - a scoop of ice-cream and a can of soft drink. Making their own ice-cream on site, eventually, will enable East End Ice Creamery to experiment with flavours and create their own.
Business has been unpredictable but encouraging, Whitehead said. It will no doubt increase when daylight savings starts and summer approaches.
"COVID has meant more people are making a trip to the shop a day out because there's not much else to do," she explained.
"You can't travel but you can lash out and have a really beautiful ice-cream on the beach."