Cindy’s Soft Serve returns for second season in Tarentum
It’s said many new businesses often fail in their first year. Cindy Hatajik can believe it, even if hers isn’t one of them.
The first year of Cindy’s Soft Serve, Custard & More in Tarentum was rough, but she and her husband, Bob, are back for a second season in 2019.
“This has been the hardest year emotionally, physically and financially,” Cindy Hatajik said at her First Avenue shop on Friday. “I don’t like to fail. With all the machinery and stuff I bought, I have to make it work. It will be tough for a little bit, but hopefully things will turn around.”
They shut down for the winter in mid-September. Coming back this year is bittersweet because of the absence of Gregory Blythe.
Blythe was pastor of their church, Abundant Joy Fellowship in Tarentum, and a frequent visitor to Cindy’s, where she said he was a fan of the corn dogs. He died in November.
“It’s hard when you’re used to someone every day. He was part of us,” she said. “Now, it’s a whole new normal.”
The Hatajiks have several new things on the menu this year, including a new machine to twist together their chocolate and vanilla custard, and Dole dairy-free soft serve. They have 24 flavors of hard ice cream.
Also new on the menu are salads, sliders and specialty pizzas, including buffalo chicken, Italian hoagie and steak. For Lent, there’s a new 12-inch battered fish sandwich.
There’s no inside seating, but there is delivery and curb service.
They’re planning events, including free movie nights on a 300-inch outdoor screen, and working on teaming up with Tarentum business Dry Bones for events showcasing local bands, music and skateboarding for kids.
Cindy Hatajik said she hopes her shop can be a place where people can come and socialize.
“I’m looking forward to more people coming and checking us out and being blessed with the food we have and the entertainment we’re going to be providing,” she said.
“The only thing we can do now is pray — and we’ve been doing that all along.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .