Indiana Township’s Ice Cream World serves its last scoop
“We had an employee standing on the roof,” said Joel DeBaldo, owner of the old-school ice cream shop. “That’s how it started, and we’ve been blessed ever since.”
DeBaldo and his sister, Cathy DeBaldo, closed the doors at 3458 Harts Run Road on July 13 after 33 years.
“It’s bittersweet. The people have been great to us,” Joel said. “It’s been a great run.”
By winter 2020, an assisted living facility will stand on the corner, occupying the 13 acres that for so long has been a mini-entertainment empire.
Township supervisors in March approved construction of The Crossings, a senior citizen studio, for the property. It is expected to take about 18 months to construct.
Through the years, Ice Cream World hasn’t been alone in attracting people to the Harts Run/Saxonburg Boulevard Intersection.
The family has owned Golf World, Catering World and Paintball World. Several people on social media commented that they’ve celebrated birthdays and other family occasions at the neighborhood spot.
The personable DeBaldo has run a play center, arcade, event center and full kitchen on the site.
He parked a fire engine and a red train caboose for children to crawl through. And of course, there’s been a menu of 24 hand-dipped ice cream flavors from Grasshopper Pie to Pistachio Nut for customers to enjoy.
“We were born and raised just down the road,” Cathy DeBaldo said, pointing to a brick house not too far away. “We’ve had so many kids work here, family and friends, but we still show up every day. It’s just time for us to retire.”
For Joel, that likely means cutting his 70-hour workweek in half.
A three-sport coach at Shady Side Academy, he also owns an auto shop that will be maintained on the Harts Run property.
“I just want to thank everyone,” he said. “It’s been great.”
Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .