Their Fortune and Flame Sweet Bar, an ice cream and dessert shop on Pawtucket Street, opened on Saturday. Mayor Sokhary Chau helped cut the ribbon for the latest business to open in the Greater Lowell area.
During his remarks to a crowd of all ages, which included Lutz’s 96-year-old grandparents, Chau thanked the husband-and-wife team, saying, “We support our small businesses and we are so grateful to you. to make an investment in our city.
For the partners, the event was a whirlwind adventure that began in May, after signing a three-year lease with Rogers Hall Corporation, a nonprofit charitable development organization operating in Lowell. They immediately got to work repairing the property which had been empty for almost three years.
“The city and Rogers Hall have been phenomenal every step of the way,” Lutz said by phone after catching his breath after a busy day of ice cream. Her one-year-old child, Ezra, could be heard babbling happily in the background.
“There is a certain order in which inspections must take place: Fire, building and health. Once we got approval from the fire inspection, the building inspector came out half an hour after we called. The next day, the health inspector showed up. As soon as we had the final inspection, we went down to City Hall and picked up our permit, which allowed us to open at the end of July.
Lutz said the family, which includes Jude Silva, 15, Elias, 5, and baby Ezra, all helped make the opening possible.
“We did all the work ourselves,” Lutz said. “During these two months, we spent 10 to 12 hours a day cleaning, painting, moving furniture. Most of the time I had the baby in the backpack while I was working.
The new business is the site of the former Burbeck Ice Cream Stand, which was Greater Lowell’s oldest ice cream shop when it closed in 2007. It was followed by Orchard Hill Ice Cream, which closed in 2019.
For Lutz, a Lowell native with deep family roots in the area, buying ice cream at Burbeck was a rite of passage growing up. The family lives nearby and she found herself thinking it would be nice to be able to have an ice cream cone with the kids after a walk along the river.
“I thought it was such a shame there was nothing in there,” Lutz said. “He’s been abandoned for so long. I had worked in ice cream parlors as a teenager. I loved this job. I love the atmosphere of an ice cream parlour. People are so happy when they come. I grew up with the presence of Burbeck. People expect it to be ice cream, so I said to Jay, “How about we open an ice cream shop and bring this to life?”
If the crowds on Saturday were any indication, his intuition paid off. The Sweet Bar offers artisanal ice cream made by Bliss, a micro-creamery based in Norton. Unique to their selection is a variety of allergen-free and dairy-free options. Lutz said the traditional flavors of vanilla and chocolate are still a customer favorite, with strawberry cheesecake shortcake coming in third.
The shop’s menu includes foods that go hand in hand with ice cream, such as apple pie, brownies, pound cake, and cookies.
“We can make cookie sandwiches in any flavor of ice cream,” Lutz said. “We also do Strawberry Shortcake Brownie Sundaes and Apple Pie with Ice Cream.”
If your mouth isn’t watering yet, Lutz said they plan to expand their menu with tacos and other light fare in the coming months.
Viteri is the owner and chef of Fortune and Flame Kitchen and Catering on Tyngsboro Road in Dracut. He brings that cooking and baking expertise to the Lowell location and plans to expand their hot meals and take-out side.
The two foodies met at Garcia Brogan, a Mexican restaurant in Downton Lowell, when Viteri came on board as chef where Lutz was a waitress. Three kids, two businesses, and a food dream later, they’re still a team.
“Jay has owned or worked in restaurants for 20 years,” Lutz said. “He is the one with the experience, I bring the management experience (Lutz manages the taxes). He’s a really great guy. We form an excellent partnership. We work well together.
After the inauguration, Lutz said the community continued to come out for ice cream.
“I think we’re trying to deal with stress,” she laughed. “It was crazy, but it was also a lot of fun. The people in the neighborhood were great. We didn’t know what to expect, but it was a fantastic day and the turnout was great.
Fortune et Flamme is open Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.