BERWYN – When Over the Rainbow Ice Cream Parlor on Windsor closed late last year, it left a void of sorts for Berwyn’s Depot District.
But Tracy Balnis, who opened Rissi’s Old Time Candy store at 6834 Windsor Ave. in December 2012, is a hopeless nostalgic, and it made perfect sense to add an old-fashioned ice cream parlor to her old-fashioned candy store, she said.
“It came as a shock when they closed,” she said of Over the Rainbow’s closing.
The owners of the now closed ice cream parlor, Thomas Stebbins and Jose Ramirez, told her she should consider adding ice cream to her own store, Balnis said.
“It was an awkward time to open an ice cream place,” Blinis said. “This winter has been a huge struggle. I thought I was going to close my doors last month. But the weather broke and people started to come in. They knew Over the Rainbow on Windsor went out of business and they were excited that the ice cream wasn’t gone.”
As for venturing into the ice cream business, Balnis said it was always a part of her business plan.
Featuring Hershey’s hand dipped ice cream, Balnis is offering sundaes served in chocolate bowls, ice cream served on warm, chocolate chip cookies and waffles, along with all the other traditional ways of serving ice cream. There’s a clown sundae and chocolate-covered frozen bananas. Shakes of many flavors, are available, too, as are root beer floats made from Filbert’s Draft.
Berwyn Development Corporation Executive Director Anthony Griffin said things look good for Balnis and the ice cream business now that the weather is breaking.
“It seems like a good opportunity,” Griffin said. “It also diversifies her product line and that’s going to draw other customers. Ice cream parlors are typically a destination draw.”
From 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Balnis said she will reintroduce herself to the community by offering free scoops to kids.
She will also be expanding her hours for the summer beginning June 21, and will be open from 2 to 9 p.m., Tuesday though Friday; and 1 to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
A calendar of different events is planned, including simple plays dates for kids, and a CosPlay Day July 14 where all Trekkie’s, Whovians and Star Wars fans dressed as their favorite character get a 10 percent discount on all purchases.