True to its name, It's Heavenly, an ice cream shop in Seaside, provides a variety of divine treats for its local and seasonal customers.

And they have been doing it for 20 years and have had a helping hand in Seaside blossoming into the busy coastal town that it is today.

"In the beginning, Seaside was a small, quaint and full of promise," said Heavenly Dawson, owner of It's Heavenly. "Today, it's vibrant, busy and robust."

She credited a lot of the town's success over the years to developments like Water Color, which added large amounts of housing along 30A, booming business along Rosmary Beach.

Dawson opened the venue on July 5, 1998, with the help of her husband, Bill. The shop offers eight flavors of Bluebell ice cream, local gelato made in Fort Walton Beach, baked goods made in-shop every morning and coffee.

"Once you establish yourself, and you've been some place for 20 years, you build a clientele of the locals and of course tourists that come back here every year, and we like to pride ourselves on offering the best delicious gelato that is made locally by people from Italy," Dawson said.

The Dawsons have eight businesses in Seaside, including It's Heavenly, Dawson's Yogurt and Fudgeworks, Pickles, the Shrimp Shack and Wild Bill's Beach Dogs.

"We've incubated them over the years, and so we've seen this town grow," Dawson said.

William Ingram, manager of It's Heavenly, said he's only been with the ice cream shop for a couple of months but that his time there has been awesome.

"Everything's smooth," Ingram said. "Everybody's really happy in Seaside."

He jokingly added that one of the only challenges hes noticed was getting the locals to come back out in the summertime.

Prior to opening her shops, Dawson worked in the gift industry for 15 years.

Now, as a Seaside entrepreneur, she's able to provide summer jobs for returning college students and give some of her younger employees their first job.

"There are three things in life you always remember, your first love, your first job and your first car," Dawson said.

Dawson said that over the 20 years It's Heavenly has been open, one of her biggest challenges has been hiring great help and that some years have been more "robust" than others.

However, she said something that she's done to attract workers who will mesh well with the ice cream shop is "create a really good, healthy, fun atmosphere."

It's Heavenly also offers marble-slab styled ice cream and some of their most popular items, include home-made star-shaped strawberry shortcakes (Dawson's grandmother's recipe), Symphony brownies and a variety of gourmet-baked cookies.

It's Heavenly is located at 63 Central Square in Seaside.