Monica ‘Moe’ Willey had long dreamed of opening an ice cream parlor. Not just any old parlor but rather one that harkens back memories of yesteryear.

Ice Cream Emporium at 120 W. Main St. in downtown Ripon will soon be a reality. Once it opens – tentatively scheduled for mid-July – the new business will have the look of the Victorian era and the feel of an old school-type ice cream parlor from the 1920s and 30s.

She took over the spot formerly occupied by Burgess Baking Company.

“When Jimmie (Burgess) announced that she was retiring, we jumped at taking over (the space),” Willey said.

She and her husband Bob are the owners of Pizza Plus, located two doors away from the old bakery.

“Even though it wasn’t next door, we needed the side space for Pizza Plus,” said Moe Willey.

The family – included are Bob and Moe’s three children, Katie, 20, Jeremiah, 18, and Hannah, 16 – is also involved with Gold Dust Pizza parlors located in Oakdale, Copperopolis, and Sutter Creek.

Ripon is home to the Willeys, who opened Pizza Plus in 1984. Jeremiah Willey, who played center for the state football Ripon High Indians, helps out at the local pizzeria and Katie will be involved in the ice cream parlor.

“We rebuilt the front counter and added (gold) corbels that we purchased from back east to give it that Victorian era look,” she said.

The countertop will be redone in quartzite – “It looks like ice,” she said, describing the countertop – while all the lamp fixtures will be replicas from the late 1800s.

The product will be the true test.

Ice Cream Emporium will feature gourmet ice cream out of San Francisco. Included will be 42 flavors with six vegan options – part of that will be soy milk for shakes or malts.

“We will have a variety of custom sundaes along with milkshakes and malts made with real ice cream,” Moe Willey said. “We’ll have tons and tons of toppings and, unique to Ripon, mini (Dutch) stroopwafel.”

Ice Cream Emporium will offer coffees and teas but ice cream will be the main focus.

Speaking of ice cream, the Grand Emporium, according to Willey, will be the featured attraction on the menu.

Included will be 15 scoops of ice cream with choice of toppings coupled with three chocolate Belgium wafers.

Moe Willey is hoping that her Ice Cream Emporium will be another reason for folks to visit downtown Ripon.