Trimmers opening brings welcome sense of normalcy

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On May 1, Trimmers Ice Cream opened for the season. While it was nearly a month past when owner Jane Broadfield was hoping to open, Trumansburg was happy to see the business serving ice cream and providing a taste of summer during the pandemic.

Broadfield has run Trimmers with her husband, Jim, and two daughters Lyndsey and Kelsey for the past four summers after taking over from the previous owner. When she’s not serving ice cream, Jane works at Trumansburg High School’s Learning Center.

Jane, like many, had to change much of her business model to accommodate COVID-19 challenges, starting with a late opening.

“It was a really difficult decision,” she said. “I work at the high school and I’m friends with a lot of students, and that was my biggest fear – if, God forbid, one of them ever got sick, I would be beside myself. So, we were hesitant on opening. We usually like to open the first weekend of April, and I did hold off on it to make sure I had all my ducks in a row.”

The delayed open did not go unnoticed, Jane said.

“Opening later in the year, we just did that because of safety precautions,” she said. “We did get people saying, ‘Why aren’t you opening? Everybody else’s opening?’ I can’t worry about what everybody else does. I have to deal with what I’m comfortable with and be able to sleep good at night.”

The biggest challenge Jane faced trying to open the shop was simply getting enough sanitation supplies, but she was able to get what she needed from the Trumansburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the Trumansburg Fire Department. With that secure, the only thing left was to ensure customer safety by taking away outdoor seating and changing staff responsibilities.

“I wanted to wait for my daughter to be home and settled and not in college classes so that we could have one person take cash away so no one [else] is touching money,” Jane said.

Trimmers opened last weekend to a break in the colder weather the county’s seen in the past few weeks, with the sun and warm temperatures helping to bring plenty of people to the shop.

“This weekend was really rough,” Jane said. “It was the first nice weekend that we’ve had, so we were slammed. … There were a couple errors and stuff like that, and people did have to wait, … but we did have our signs up and sanitizers out there.”

The response from customers was nothing but positive, Jane said.

“We’ve gotten really good feedback,” she said. “I thought people were going to be upset and mad at us, but we’ve gotten really positive feedback.”

While the first weekend went well, Jane said she couldn’t provide the same experience many were used to.

“The hard thing for me is I’m used to really good customer service and I’m used to hanging out with my customers,” she said. “And because I had the one girl taking the cash at the window and orders, I’m more or less just making ice cream and not really being able to communicate as much as I’d like to.”

Jane said COVID-19’s effects for her have been far-reaching.

“It’s hard. It’s sad. It’s depressing,” she said. “I miss the school. I miss my kids. That’s the main thing. I miss my seniors and graduating and senior night to give up my awards and my scholarships and stuff and that’s the whole thing that I miss. As far as home, I have horses, I keep busy, and it’s a little bit boring.”

Despite the changes, Jane is happy to be open and serving the village again.

“It’s definitely a benefit for Trumansburg, being open, because there’s something for people to do,” Jane said. “You can’t go anywhere. You can go to a park, you can go for a walk, but there’s nothing else. We had people staying in cars, and I brought ice cream out to them and stuff like that.”

Jane is also focused on providing for the community the way she has in the past.

“We need to make money and pay our bills, but that’s not our biggest thing,” Jane said. “We give a lot of stuff away. We give ice cream away. We take care of all our servicemen and our firemen. … I’m just trying to be there for anybody that needs help or needs anything. We have that out there that if anyone needs anything, just let us know. We’ll deliver. We’ll do whatever we can.”

Jane said that she’s optimistic that she’ll be able to hold fun events and provide the services Trumansburg is used to before the season is up.

“I’m hoping to be able to go back to normal and be able to do all my little ideas that I have,” she said. “We all stay strong together and work together, and it’s all going to work out.”

Trimmers is currently open 3 to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Visit Trimmers on Facebook at facebook.com/trimmersicecream.

In Brief:

Trumansburg Rotary

Trumansburg Rotary continues its lively meetings Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. via Zoom. Upcoming speakers include (May 7) musician Rosie Newton of the bands Richie and Rosie, and Rose and the Bros, speaking about Richie and Rosie’s recent concert tour through New Zealand.

On May 14, Lola, this year’s Hungarian exchange student, will Zoom in to talk about her near-year in Trumansburg and to tell about her own country. And on May 21, Cheryl Jewell, executive director of Love Living at Home, will speak on LLH’s successful mission of connecting seniors with social outlets and other needed services, as well as the adaptations the organization has made in these peculiar times to continue serving its members.

Talks usually start at 7 p.m., though Lola’s will start at 5 p.m. to accommodate the time difference. It’s easy to join the talks on Zoom: contact Trumansburg Rotary President Mary Bouchard at mmb16@cornell.edu, and she’ll send you the session link.

In other Rotary news, the annual Supermarket Sweepstakes, held in cooperation with Trumansburg ShurSave, had to be reconfigured. While ticket sales opportunities were limited and the run through the supermarket itself called off, the Rotary did draw a winner, Laurie Lees of Hector, who won a $500 gift certificate to ShurSave.

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