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Calgary ice cream shops savouring sweet success during COVID-19

Click to play video: 'Calgary ice cream shops savouring sweet success during COVID-19 pandemic' Calgary ice cream shops savouring sweet success during COVID-19 pandemic
WATCH: The COVID-19 pandemic definitely brings some challenges for many Calgary businesses. But as Gil Tucker reports, one sector seems to be enjoying some sweet success – Jul 15, 2020

For many Calgarians, ice cream is a cool treat that you just can’t beat.

“It’s like a good distraction, especially on a summer day,” said Zachary Xavier, adding with a laugh that during the COVID-19 pandemic, “there’s not really anything else to do anyway.”

Xavier was enjoying a cookies-and-cream cone Wednesday outside Lics Ice Cream Shop in northwest Calgary.

The shop has been in business since 1982, and like many other ice cream shops in the city, it has remained a popular place during the pandemic.

“We are doing actually really pretty good in spite of everything,” Lics owner Elizabeth Leavitt said.

Read more: Alberta confirms 82 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, no new deaths

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Another Calgary company is expanding, hoping the time is right for a new location.

“During the pandemic, it’s a little bit tougher times,” Made by Marcus Ice Cream owner Marcus Purtzki said. “So there is some concern with lineups, social distancing.”

The COVID-19 crisis brings challenges in lining up tradespeople, so instead of opening in late spring as planned, Purtzki is now looking at serving the first customer at his new Bridgeland location in August.

Click to play video: 'Calgary ice cream shops increase safety measures after COVID-19 closure' Calgary ice cream shops increase safety measures after COVID-19 closure
Calgary ice cream shops increase safety measures after COVID-19 closure – Jul 29, 2020

 

Read more: Spike in Alberta COVID-19 cases in younger people cause for concern: Hinshaw

Despite the setback, he remains optimistic.

“During the pandemic, people are going out and trying different takeaway options, doing curbside pickup,” Purtzki said.

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“The fact that everyone is staying in Calgary and supporting local [businesses] is a great thing.”

Purtzki’s new shop — Calgary’s third one — is a project that’s bringing back some sweet memories for the owner of the building it will operate out of.

“My late father started ice cream [in that location] in 1987,” building owner Yousef Traya said. “All our family worked in there. It was great.”

Read more: Calgary Folk Music Festival goes virtual amid COVID-19 pandemic

For the first time in a long time, there will once again be cool cones served on that corner in Bridgeland.

“Dad would be happy and this is what he always wanted: making sure the neighbourhood always had an ice cream shop,” Traya said.

“Everybody came there with a smile on [their faces] because it’s ice cream and that’s what ice cream does.”
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It’s a sentiment shared by a customer enjoying her triple-chocolate-brownie cone outside Lics.

“It just gives you a smile,” Carley Kimmett said.

“The world can seem so grim, so it’s just nice to have a nice scoop of something sweet.”

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