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Why is it called Cravings at the Colonial Spa?

Charles John Klapes, a native of Theologos, Greece, opened the Colonial Spa on Saturday, August 28, 1920. Charles left his home in Greece in 1906 and opened his new business in 1920.  According to his son Alexander, Charles looked at the property in the middle of winter to see it in its 'least attractive state.' He liked what he saw and brought his young wife Aphrodite to Wakefield where they eventually raised their six children. According to the ads in the Wakefield Daily Item, “the ice cream parlor and soda fountain includes a spacious area in the rear half of the store for the ice cream, tables, and eight tables for the ladies. The Spa also carried a large line of candies, tobacco, cigars and cigarettes. The opening was very successful, the new fittings and attractive window displays, with orchestral music in the evening, brought many visits and good patronage.”    

The Colonial Spa continued solely as an ice cream parlor until the 1930s when a luncheonette was added. In addition to the luncheonette, the Colonial Spa evolved over the years to include a book section, an extensive candy section and a giftware section. After Charles Klapes death, his son Alex took over The Colonial Spa which remained a family owned business until its closing in December 2000 following the death Alex Klapes.

Charles Klapes at the Colonial Spa, circa late 1960s · Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wake

Charles Klapes at the Colonial Spa, circa late 1960s Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2017 Photo courtesy of Jeff Klapes and the Klapes Family

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Rick Campbell Cravings owner from 1993 - 2022. We wish him well in his retirement. Thank you for satisfying Wakefield’s sweet tooth for 30 years.

   Try taking an ice cream parlor and literally moving it across the street. That's what Rick Campbell, the owner of Cravings did in 2001 when he relocated his ice cream shop from 400 Main into the Colonial Spa at 389 Main. Campbell explained, "The Colonial Spa was the oldest business in downtown Wakefield and when the opportunity came to buy the building, I thought this is the perfect soda fountain setting with booths, a marble counter, mosaic tiles and a back bar. It felt special to grab onto a piece of history and to continue the soda fountain tradition."  The sign outside reads "Cravings at Colonial Spa" and inside the business carries on the Klapes family vision using the same ice cream bar, stools, and soda fountains to make Raspberry Lime Rickey's and Root Beer Floats.    

Since 1993, Cravings has offered hard-serve, soft-serve & frozen yogurt to customers, distinguishing themselves from other shops by making all their ice cream on site. However, it’s the custom blended soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt that makes Cravings truly unique. Their custom blending process opens up the possibility for 100’s of flavor combinations with low fat, no fat, non dairy or sugar free options.

Originally from Chicago, Campbell graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1983.  You may have seen his jazz band, Dangerous Men, performing at the Beebe Library Plaza Jazz. After 30 years in business, Rick decided to retire and sold his business to Samantha Chaput of Wakefield.    

Samantha was one of the many middle school students who loved to go to Cravings on her way home from school. When she was old enough, Chaput stopped in every day and called Campbell repeatedly asking for a job, Rick joked that the only way he could get her to stop bothering him was to hire her. Samantha began working at Cravings her sophomore year of high school, graduated from WHS in 2010, and the University of New Hampshire in 2014.

Samantha recently purchased the business from Rick and plans to continue the tradition of serving high quality homemade ice cream, including custom-blended soft-serve and frozen yogurt, in a wide variety of flavors, ice cream cakes and pies, home-brewed coffee, espressos and lattes, novelty candy, and fine chocolates. 

Now that you know the whole story, stop by the shop today.

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“That feeling when you buy an ice cream shop that you’ve worked at for 14 years.” Samantha Chaput, the new owner of Cravings at the Colonial Spa  April 2022.

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