The Espinoza family, Marleny and Cristobal with their son Henry, center, inside Victoria's Helado today. The shop is named for the couple's 11-year-old daughter. Photo: Alek Lewis

A new frozen dessert shop is now open in downtown Riverhead.

Victoria’s Helado opened on Saturday at 37 East Main Street, the former home of Sweet Tart, the frozen yogurt shop that closed earlier this year after almost eight years in business.  

The store is owned and operate by Cristobal and Marleny Espinoza of Riverhead and serves frozen yogurt with toppings, smoothies, acai bowls and coffee.  Victoria’s Helado will also serve homemade shaved ices made with fresh fruit syrups, and other traditional Latin American desserts including fresa con crema (strawberries and cream), slushy drinks like mangoniadas (a slushy containing blended mango, lime and peppers), and fresh fruit salads. The Espinozas also plan to expand the menu to include the popular Latin American street food, churros and Elotes Locos — corn on the cob smothered with mayonnaise, ketchup and cheese.

“I wanna do something to service the community, for the people,” Cristobal said, adding that he wants to provide a space to allow people to escape the outside world, enjoy food and socialize. 

The Espinozas’ motivation to open the shop comes from its namesake, the couple’s 11-year-old daughter Victoria, who last year suggested Cristobal start making the ices, known as Granizadas. Cristobal would sell some ices they made to friends. 

Victoria’s Helado is located at 37 East Main Street in the former Sweet Tart Frozen Yogurt Café. Photo: Alek Lewis

They weren’t looking for an opportunity to open a business, but “God gave it to us” when the family heard that Sweet Tart was looking to sell its business, Cristobal said.

Main Street in Riverhead is a popular place with a lot of diversity, Cristobal said, and he looks forward to serving the entirety of that community.

In their native Guatemala, Cristobal and Marleny had experience with their own parents running a business, said their son Henry, who works in the store.

“It was always their dream to own their own business, as well,” Henry said. “So now we are continuing that here in Riverhead.”

The family hopes the store will be an example to other families that will help inspire and motivate them to open their own small businesses.

“You transmit your experience on to other people to try to motivate them, so that they can see it’s possible that they can do it, as well,” Henry said. “We started from nothing, now we’re something.” 

The store is currently open 7 days, from noon to 10 p.m., Cristobal said.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: