ALBEMARLE, N.C. – When Kristen Lilly heads to work there's no groaning. She looks forward to it.
“This is definitely my happy place,” Lilly says.
She is the owner of Micah's Sweet Escape in Albemarle in Stanly County.

Bright colors line the walls, children's games are scattered inside the store, and the smells of dessert fill the shop.
The store is named after Lilly's 10-year-old niece Micah, who died in a car crash two years ago.

When she died, Lilly decided the best way to keep her memory alive was to open a store focused on desserts, which Micah loved.

Lilly, who used to own an ice cream truck, runs the store with help from her large family that includes seven sisters.

Business has admittedly been rocky since COVID-19.

Lilly is also a trained respiratory therapist and has spent time the past few months working with COVID-19 patients.

Despite the obstacle, the family, which has grown smaller since Micah's mom's recent death, is fighting on for Micah.
“I definitely wish we could have opened it up prior to her passing away, but I know she would be happy,” Lilly says.
Lilly's goal is for everyone who walks inside Micah's to come away with a memory.

Sugar will create temporary memories, but this ice cream shop has found a way to create them with a little more heart.
“Make each day count. Make it beautiful...I just try to make every day special,” Lilly says.
It's easy to do at a place where dessert is the only thing on the menu.

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