S.C. ice cream shop saved by customers who loved it
It is hard to say an exact number for how many small businesses closed temporarily or permanently because of COVID, but this one found a savior in a loyal customer.
TEGA CAY, S.C. (WBTV) - Like so many locally owned businesses that have struggled to keep their door open through COVID, a beloved ice cream shop in Tega Cay was close to closing its doors for good before an early Christmas miracle saved the store.
Like many others that walk through the doors of Scoop N Swirl, Betsy Coleman has been coming here for years.
”My son Adam actually had his birthday party here as a little boy. We sat at the table and he had his little friends here and we ate ice cream,” says Coleman.
So to hear that the owners were going to close it after not securing a successor was devastating.
”It was really sad when we thought they were going to close,” she says.
The ice cream shop is filled with the sweet smell of fresh-baked waffle cones and the memories of people who love it. Those are the reasons why it is still here today.
Ray Zerrusen has bought his wife’s birthday cake here every year for the last 17 years. His wife Shannon’s favorite cake is one with cookie dough and Oreos. So when he heard this would be his last cake, he knew he had to jump into action.
”Instead of just owning a birthday cake I own a birthday cake and an ice cream shop now,” says Zerrusen.
Zerrusen bought the store and now co-owns it with Shannon. The shop still selling the same ice cream with all the fixings people have come to love. All of the recipes are still the same as well. The previous owners are the ones teaching the new owners how to make it all.
”They come in here with almost tears in their eyes they are so happy to know it’s open again,” he says.
The previous owners retired after a tough year across the country with COVID closing businesses and increasing food prices. They wanted to spend more time with their children and grand children. However, Zerrusen says they mostly wanted to give the shop they loved to someone who would care about it so they could retire. They worked at the shop seven days a week for about eight hours.
”I think it got harder for them in the last year. I definitely think the workforce had something to do with it,” he says.
Those hardships are still around and not lost on Zerrusen, but he is finding worth in the sweeter things in life.
”I thought once or twice should we really open up now but really we wanted to keep this ice cream shop going. And it really warms your heart seeing the little kids get ice cream and it puts a big smile on their face,” he says.
So regulars like Coleman can keep coming back for the ice cream and the memories.
”I wish we knew the recipe for the ice cream,” says Coleman.
Scoop N Swirl has been in business since 2002 and was and continues to be family-owned since that opening date.
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