Slow Start To Spring Delays Ice Cream In Amherstburg
Tuesday April 8th, 2014
Posted at 3:50pm
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For the first time in its 35 years in existence, owners of Waterfront Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt took two extra weeks before opening their doors.
Justin Deluca and his wife Jen began scooping ice cream March 30th which the couple said turned out to be both a beautiful and busy day. While they typically open the week before March break, the winter was still clinging on the county.
Contrary to popular belief, Deluca said they business tends to thrive in more mild weather. Around 72 degrees Fahrenheit is when the business starts getting busy and the humid weather actually keeps customers away.
“The ice cream business isn’t like what people think, they think if it’s really hot we’re going to have a really great season but it’s not that way at all,” said Deluca. “It becomes too warm, too hot people generally don’t come out they’re probably staying in their pools, in air conditioned buildings or who knows what but they’re definitely not here when it’s hot.”
Deluca just turned 40-years-old last week and has seen the business blossom since he was only five. The ice cream parlor begun with just one freezer and eight favors, before the historic Navy Yard Park was built. He watched his father build the business from the ground up and finally took over with his wife, Jen, ten years ago. It took six years of formal training before his father finally handed down the business to Deluca.
While Deluca and his wife thoroughly enjoy the business, and his parents are proud to see it handed down and kept in the family, he wants more for his girls in the future. Just as every parent dreams, Deluca and his wife have big dreams for their girls, however they added if the girls wanted to take the business over, they would be just as proud.
“They say they want to work here now, and I’m just like ‘no, do something better!’,” said Deluca. “Not that this is bad or anything … but in the summer I’m here 95-100 hours a week. And it’s eight months, seven days a week from the time we open generally in mid-March until the middle of October.”
He stressed the job is not as easy as it seems, there are a lot of little things that are very important people tend not to notice.
The good part of the job however, according to Deluca, is everyone who comes in is generally happy. He said they are treating themselves, even if they’re in the middle of a sad day, the customers are indulging in a sweet treat to cheer themselves up.
Business matters set aside, Deluca and his wife, Jen, have always had their hands in ice cream. Jen worked in the ice cream parlor with Deluca’s parents when she was a teenager. While the two can’t quite agree on who had their eyes on who, they agreed their partnership is important.
“I couldn’t do it without her, there’s no way,” said Deluca. “Even just her sense of understanding … I think that had I married anyone else, they wouldn’t have put up with the hours … She didn’t marry me for my hair, I’m completely bald. She married me for my ice cream, that’s it.”
Deluca even went as far as to propose to his wife in the ice cream parlor.
The couple agreed the business is more than just a business. They make sure their employees have fun, their customers enjoy themselves and they make memories with everyone who walks through the doors. They are looking forward to a busy summer.