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After opening then closing a month into pandemic, Skoops Ice Cream instead serves up free meals

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Posted at 10:25 AM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 10:25:43-04

BARBERTON, Ohio — Skoops Ice Cream shop in Barberton used its downfall during the COVID-19 shutdown to give back and tackle food insecurity in the community. Its mission to serve tasty, refreshing treats to the community while also improving the place they call home is a continuing mission for owners Terry and Dave.

Built in 1967, the shop went through a few owners before Terry Rastetter-Helbling and his husband Dave bought it in 2019.

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Skoops Ice Cream Shop.

“My dream, my whole life was to own an ice cream shop,” Terry said.

They opened the shop on March 12, 2020, in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic. They were forced to shut down just eight days later.

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Skoops Ice Cream Shop.

"It was one of the hardest things to see. All that work just kind of put on hold for a minute,” Terry said.

While they were closed, a kid in need of food knocked on their window.

“I just gave him some leftover ice cream stuff that we were going to throw away anyway. It, uh, it just really, really hurt,” he said.

The very next day, Terry and Dave decided to give out free lunches for those in need.

It was supposed to be just for a couple of days. It turned into five weeks.

Eventually, supplies and food donations came pouring in, and when Skoops was able to reopen, the giving back didn’t stop.

“Having a place that gives back to their community as well is nice,” said customer Devon.

“I feel that we were put here for a reason. We opened up at a really bad time. But for some people it was a really good time,” Terry said.

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Skoops Ice Cream Shop.

Skoops Ice Cream, located at 438 5th St NE, is open daily from noon to 9 p.m. Find them here.

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