A Sweet Discovery

Crockett’s Up North in Weaverville…

“Everybody in town likes that she’s there,” says Brian Muir, owner of the Weaverville Hotel & Emporium with his wife, Jeanne. “We’re happy that she’s doing well.” Brian is speaking about Ryan Crockett, owner of Crockett’s Up North, a Confectionery, Mercantile and Eatery. Her sweet treat and gourmet grilled cheese business in Weaverville has been a welcome infusion of vitality into downtown since its opening in 2020.

Ryan has always had a creative, entrepreneurial side hustle; she’s catered events, baked for weddings and worked as a bookkeeper, among other things; she’s not one to be idle. She and her family moved to Weaverville in 2016 from the Yuba City area so her husband Micah could relocate for his job with Caltrans, and she began working at her children’s school as a paraeducator in sixth and seventh grade. When they were all sent home in March 2020, it was time for another project, and Ryan found one suited to her interests and past experience, which also worked out beautifully for the good of the whole community.

Micah is deeply involved behind the scenes, always working on renovations when they are needed and taking care of routine maintenance. Ryan credits him for the appealing layout of the place. Her children, Wyatt, 13, and Dylan, 12, also enjoy helping out around the confectionery, garnering treats in return.

“We were open within two months,” Ryan says. Once she and Micah decided to open an ice cream shop, she didn’t waste time. While the net impact of COVID has been definitively negative, it offered some advantages as well for Ryan and certain other members of her town. Logistically, she had more time to begin working on her new venture, and was able to solely focus on remodeling the space, hiring employees and curating the customer experience. She wisely chose to open on a smaller scale than where they’re operating now; they started with just one freezer and 12 flavors, along with a few things in the mercantile shop.

Photos by Ronda Alvey

They now serve 24 rotating ice cream flavors that can become banana splits or ice cream tacos in addition to cones or cups, and a variety of fresh cookies, brownies and other baked goods. In their mercantile is displayed a full range of products from small businesses and creators around the United States. Early this year, they acquired the space next door and turned it into a parlor with gourmet grilled cheese offerings. At that point, they had to do a large remodel of the parlor space, and Ryan says they also did a “full remodel of the ice cream kitchen.” The Crocketts have created the perfect marriage of sweet and savory experiences, just a few steps apart from each other. “Weaverville had had an old confectionery for years and it closed in the ‘80s,” says Ryan. Many older residents remember that shop fondly, and she says, “a lot of people would mention it” in reference to Up North. To some extent, Ryan has pulled inspiration from this cherished local memory and infused it into the previously empty building she and her husband found available downtown.

Ryan has intentionally designed Up North’s interior to feel like a step back into a simpler time, playing bluegrass music and organizing the mercantile in a manner that reminds of years gone by through the decor, such as photographs of old Weaverville and relics from businesses that used to operate in town. The star may be the traditionally oldfashioned candy counter with shelves of gleaming glass canisters filled with shining confections that call to any sweet tooth. They bake their own waffle cones daily, the caramelized buttery scent filling the shop. “We’re trying to appeal to all of your senses,” Ryan says. “It all becomes one experience.” The result is a reminiscing venue where the senior crowd feels at home and which the younger generation also adores.

Photos by Ronda Alvey

Many young people leave Weaverville after high school, seeking opportunities elsewhere. A lot of local high schoolers would love to have an after-school or summer job and start learning life skills, but there often aren’t enough employment options in the small community. Ryan has made it her mission to be one of those too-rare opportunities for local teens, and hires almost exclusively high school students. They enjoy the spot outside of employment, as well. “We do have a lot of the high school crowd that does hang out at our place after school,” Ryan says.

“COVID exposed Weaverville to a whole new kind of tourist,” Ryan says. “We had a lot of travelers coming up to get out of the bigger cities, so our tourism jumped quite a bit.” A lot of Sacramento and Bay Area residents needed an escape from the lockdowns they were living through, and found Weaverville a comfortable oasis. Many who visited because of the need to get out from their own four walls now return regularly purely for leisure.

Photos by Ronda Alvey

One event that draws new and old is the Art Walks, hosted on the first Saturday of every month by the Trinity County Arts Council. Local galleries welcome visitors while restaurants and businesses stay open a bit later, and Up North is a participant. Brian Muir describes Ryan as a “driving force to organize activities.”

“After being here for a few years, I’ve kind of put some focus into how to help downtown and how to help it rejuvenate itself,” Ryan says. Up North has impacted the pulse of the downtown area. How they’ve set up their physical space as well as the atmosphere they’ve cultivated create a prime location for high schoolers, young children and their parents, older folks who enjoy the old-timey aesthetic, and just about anyone else who happens by. •

Crockett’s Up North Confectionery & Mercantile
480 Main St., Weaverville • (530) 777-8140 • Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 am-8 pm, Friday and Saturday, 11 am-9 pm

Article Written By:

Eythana Miller was transplanted to Redding from Montana three years ago and has fallen in love with the area. She’s in her second year at Shasta College, and loves a good literary discussion over a few cups of black tea.

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