Down on the Corner: Getting a scoop during a pandemic

Contributed photoNew owner, Amy Bradley, left, of the Down on the Corner ice cream stand is ready to serve ice cream and joy with her daughter, Danielle Newton. The business is located at Routes 425 and 93 in Cambria.

Amy Bradley was looking for a way to spend her time. A pharmacist by trade, she knew she’d be retiring out in a couple years, and she wanted something to sustain her in that time.

She decided to take a chance on an old ice cream shop in the same building as Monaco’s produce stand in Cambria, right on the corner of Routes 425 and 93. She called Down on the Corner.

“People were always asking the (Monaco’s) why they didn’t open their ice cream stand,” Bradley said. “They said, they didn’t have it, they just had produce. So, we would go in there for produce all the time and we were talking to them, and they said they were looking for someone to open it.”

“Everybody likes ice cream,” she said, and noted the price for the equipment was reasonable.”I just went for it.”

Bradley teamed up with her daughter, Danielle Newton who works with the county, and would run the stand on nights and weekends. After signing the contract, pre-COVID, the two of them wanted to open in April, but circumstances due to the pandemic and subsequent shutdown forced them to stay closed until Mother’s Day weekend.

The two rolled with the punches though, taking what they learned during the shutdown and applying it to take-out ice cream.

“You’ve got to stay six feet apart, we’re not letting anybody in,”and it’s all going to be through the window,” Bradley said. “We’re obviously masked.”

“We also set up a phone, so in case someone has a concern or wants to stay in their car, they can have the phone we have set up and order. We’ll bring it out to the vehicle.” Newton said.

Other precautions include constant hand washing by the employees, and they’ve placed markings on the ground to keep people socially distant from one another while in line. They also said, there will only be four people inside the stand making it safer and give their employees room to move.

“What we’ve been trying to do is one person handling all the cash and one person doing all the ice creams and sundaes,” Bradley said.

They weren’t initially prepared for a pandemic, Newton said, but, as it turned out, they were lucky to be in the location they opened in.

“We have the take out window and right next to the window is a handwash station, and right next to that is the cash register,” she said. “So, even if something is going on, they can switch from cash to icecream right there. It’s a very nice setup for something we weren’t prepared for.”

In the future, after the coronavirus, Bradley and Newton plans to give back to the community.

“We’re looking into different ways to do volunteer work, different ways to give back to the community,” Newton said. “We’ve actually linked up with some of the pet adoption agencies in the area.”

Newton forsees animal adoption events right at the stand, after COVID, and activities where the kids can participate in when they can come within six feet of one another.

“Face painting, crafts, stuff like that,” Bradley said

The mother-daughter team wanted to thank their friends and family for helping them clean up and set everything up, and Monaco’s for good prices on berries for future sundaes.

More information can be found on Facebook at Down at the Corner. They’ll be open every day of the season.

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