Inside Melt – a dessert bar that prides itself on its homemade ice creams, coffees and champagne selection – sofas line the wall, inviting guests to lounge while they indulge in a sundae, or sip a glass of champagne with strawberry caviar – tiny pink bubbles that release a strawberry liquid when they burst.
Facing the sofas are tiny tables circled with pastel-painted chairs fit for Melt’s littlest customers. There’s a wooden toy box and shelf with children’s books in one corner. On the wall are magazines for the grown-ups. And a life-sized carousel horse is proudly on display near the entrance.
The lure of Melt is not only its homemade dessert concoctions served alongside bubbly drinks. The dessert, coffee and champagne bar, which opened its doors on Christmas Eve 2013, has created a haven for families as a Turks and Caicos restaurant with its own niche.
“I just want to embrace families coming,” says Cally Affleck, owner of Melt and an expert on ice cream and coffee. “The essence of it is something for everyone.”
Cally worked in the coffee industry in England for 20 years before coming to the Turks and Caicos in 2006. Melt marks Cally’s third venture on Providenciales. Upon her arrival on the island, she built the vacation villa rental Footprints on the Beach in Leeward, and in 2010, she bought local ice cream shop Island Scoop. A marriage of ice cream and coffee (with the addition of bubbly) was the natural next step for Cally.
The result has been a vibrant, eclectic atmosphere where customers are served homemade sweet treats ranging from the Hazelnut Heaven sundae to the Berry Pavlova. There is no ordinary menu item. Even the iced coffee exceeds common expectations. Served in a glass mug, the rich coffee concoction is hard to stop sipping. After 20 years, Cally has perfected her recipe. And she’s not giving away her secret.
All of Melt’s desserts – from the ice cream to the pastries – are made from scratch. Coconut scones, key lime tarts, the sticky, cinnamon-sugary morning buns – they’re all made fresh each morning.
“There’s nobody that we’ve not got a product for,” Cally says.
Creativity abounds not only with ice cream, though. As soon as you walk through Melt’s doors, you’re met with the work of resident artist Davidson Louis, 19. Melt’s menu is brandished on an entire wall with watercolor paints, each item painted in its own color and font. Davidson also is responsible for illustrations of Melt’s sundaes in its handheld menus.
Melt also hosts an open mic night every other Saturday, which allows customers to exercise their own creative sides.
“This is very funky and creative,” Davidson says of Melt. “We think outside of the box.”
Davidson doubles as marketing artist and host. His name pops up frequently in TripAdvisor reviews.
“Davidson, our server, was one of the friendliest people we met on Provo, and since it was quiet actually took time to talk to us, which we really enjoyed and made us feel at home,” said one reviewer from Boston in June.
“I always try to make someone leave with a good experience,” Davidson says.
Melt’s most faithful customers frequent the shop multiple times a week. One of those customers, Claire Parrish, is there about twice a week – either with her two kids, ages 7 and 11, or on her own to meet friends for coffee.
Claire’s kids love the Oreo Mallow sundae, while Claire is partial to the coffees, wines (Melt has an actual wine-tasting machine) and champagnes – and the morning bun.
“You’ve got that little feeling of luxury as well as an environment where kids can be kids,” Claire says.
Melt is located in the Regent Village on Providenciales. Contact Melt at 649-432-1234, or visit the shop online at Facebook.com/ilovemelt