CARBONDALE, Pa. — There are two things Tom and Diane Malinchak know better than most: ice cream and the people who like it.
"I just love the customers—someone to talk to other than him!" Diane joked.
The feeling is mutual from their loyal, long-time customers.
Tom and Diane owned Main Avenue Ice Cream in Scranton for 25 years.
"Our first day open in March 1997, the first customer, we still have that guy," said Tom.
The couple sold the shop on Main Avenue last year, thinking that maybe they'd enjoy retirement.
"First, we were happy when we first sold. And after a week, we're thinking, 'Uh, oh, here we go. What are we going to do the next 25 years?'"
So they're back in business. This time, at Fallbrook Street Ice Cream in Carbondale, much closer to their home.
It's a new name and a new location, but still the same familiar faces behind the counter.
Sometimes, customers don't even need to see their faces to recognize Tom and Diane. Just ask a customer from Jessup who came to the window yesterday.
"He said, 'Wait a minute, are these guys from Main Ave.?' And she said, 'Why do you ask?' And he said, 'I recognize the handwriting on the sign out there.' He's been coming to me since he's about 6!" Diane said.
Clearly, they have a recipe for success here that extends beyond any particular city street.
Perhaps it starts with perfecting the art of soft serve, something Diane has mastered.
Or maybe it's just that taste of home, that smile behind the counter, that's the real cherry on top – and the reason Tom and Diane couldn't lay down the ice cream scoop just yet.
"I don't know if we're going to live 25 more years, but we're going to try like hell anyway," Tom said.
Fallbrook Street Ice Cream is now open seven days a week through Columbus Day.
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