Ice cream shop becoming truck stop to help semi drivers working through COVID-19 pandemic

Ice cream shop adjusting to help semi drivers working through coronavirus pandemic
The owner of No. 1 Scoop in Tompkin, Sask., is making adjustments to help out semi drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Janis Entem / Supplied

An ice cream shop in a Saskatchewan village is rolling up its sleeves early to help out semi drivers along their route to deliver cargo amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With provincial measures in effect, restaurants have had to transition to food delivery and drive-thru only, which can cause problems for truckers hauling trailers.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan premier signs order enforcing measures protecting against spread of COVID-19

Normally for No. 1 Scoop owner Janis Entem, she doesn’t open until a couple of days before the May long weekend.

“When I’d heard about the truck drivers having such a hard time finding somewhere to get food, I just made the decision that I was going to open early to give them a venue to get food. To me, it’s just the right thing to do,” Entem said.

“Because they have to keep working. I mean, we need truck drivers. We need to have the groceries delivered to the grocery stores and even to the restaurants that are closed but still doing takeout, and medical supplies, all that stuff.

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“They’re all standing up and doing their part, what they feel is their part in helping everybody out in this pandemic.”

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Entem is planning to open her seasonal business on March 30.

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It is located along Highway 1 in Tompkins, roughly 320 kilometres west of Regina.

“I also sell burgers and hot dogs and stuff like that… I have no indoor seating or anything like that and no drive-thru window, just a walk-up. I’m right next to a gas station and I have a lot of space as well for truck drivers to park,” Entem said.

“I had a lady in Moose Jaw contact me to say ‘thank you for doing this and my husband’s a truck driver and we’re spreading the word around.’”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 9 new COVID-19 cases reported in Saskatchewan, total rises to 95

Entem, originally from Medicine Hat, Alta., bought the shop four years ago and decided to make Tompkins her permanent home.

“This business has been here for close to 25 years now… I get people that’ll stop and say, ‘when I was a kid, my parents always came through here and we always stopped for ice cream.’ And so it’s kind of fun,” she said.

“I get people from all over the world that stop. I mean, it’s just… I got the greatest business in the world, I think.”

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers across Canada are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. In Saskatchewan, international travellers are already required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the province.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.