Keys Chocolates and Ice Cream opens its new location at MM 81.9, oceanside, in Islamorada. Pictured are owners Bob and Kristie Thomas and employee Emily Perotti. JIM McCARTHY

An established Key Largo chocolate and ice cream shop is making Islamorada a little sweeter with its newly-opened location at MM 81.9, oceanside. 

The owners of Key Largo Chocolates and Ice Cream opened the doors last week to their new sweet shop, Keys Chocolates and Ice Cream, adjacent to Wild Lily Boutique in the village. Inside, pick from one of 20 popular ice cream flavors that patrons would find when frequenting the Key Largo shop at MM 100.5, bayside. Don’t forget those artisan chocolates made by none other than the master chocolatier herself, Kristie Thomas. And how can you forget the Key lime pie on a stick? 

Residents well south of the Key Largo shop will no longer need to make the 15-or-so-mile drive to grab a cup of frozen delight or boxes of sweets. 

“They can get everything here,” Thomas said inside her new shop decked in pink and green. The iconic pink flamingo came too. “The community has been asking, ‘When are you opening?’ They’re all excited about us being here, knowing our homemade goodies that we make between our ice creams, pies and Key lime pies, and of course, our chocolates.” 

Emily Perotti dishes out some scoops of Ube ice cream.

Ice creams and chocolates are made in-house — or should we say in a little factory — behind the Key Largo shop counters. Bob Thomas said the Islamorada location is retail only, meaning all ice cream and chocolate made is shipped from Key Largo to the Islamorada shop. 

“Retail only really cuts down on the need for size and space,” he said. “We’re testing the waters. It’s been an enlightening experience. The community has supported us and worked with us. We’re very fortunate.”

Ice cream flavors range from double fudge brownie and butter pecan to blue raspberry and pistachio. One of the newer flavors is Ube. A vegetable from the Philippines, Kristie said, the frozen treat tastes like a roasted marshmallow even though it’s a purple sweet potato. Emily Perotti, who works behind the counter, said it’s one of the more popular flavors in its native land. 

“It’s similar to how popular chocolate is here; it’s one of their national flavors,” she said. “It makes a nice purple thick ice cream for the island of the purple flowers. It also brings a little more culture down here.” 

Keys Chocolates and Ice Cream also has a full case of candies that range from salted caramels and dipped pretzels to Key lime macaroons to sugar free chocolate. Key lime chocolate gift boxes are also available, as is the famous Key lime on the stick. Grab a cone or some chocolate for takeout, or enjoy those delights outside on the picnic tables. 

“We’ve had a nice little crowd coming through since our soft opening last Friday (Aug. 28(,” Kristie said. “A lot of customers who used to travel north are stopping in and saying how excited to see us here.

“Being in Islamorada is exciting for us,” she continued. Getting this small, standalone building gave us the opportunity to design how we wanted it while bringing down our notable colors and our specialities.”

Keys Chocolates and Ice Cream owners Bob and Kristie Thomas and employee Emily Perotti are welcoming patrons to their new location at MM 81.9, oceanside, Islamorada.

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