Granby—Talk to almost any child in Granby and they've probably heard about Tina's Ice Cream, owner Tina Shaw said.
Shaw, 43, and her husband, Tom, 47, have closed their ice cream shop after making the decision a month ago. The West Granby residents opened in May of 2010 and they were going on their fourth year in business.
"It was a very difficult decision to close," Shaw wrote in an email to Patch. "Tom and I both work full-time and while the ice cream shop was a dream - we also had to consider the time it took away from our family and what choices we had to make each year to keep Tina's at the level of service and quality that we wanted it to be."
The Shaws are now grandparents and looking forward to spending more time with their new "grand babies," she said
"So it's heartbreaking to lose my second family at Tina's Ice Cream - but I feel we were successful making a dream come true," Shaw said.
While juggling the ice cream shop, a full-time job and family, Shaw was also battling cancer.
"Fighting cancer again in the middle of it all was quite a challenge - and as a survivor I know just how precious each minute is," Shaw said.
But even through the difficult times, Shaw is bubbling with fond memories of her ice cream store.
"Tom and I have met so many fantastic people through the ice cream shop," Shaw said. "Watching kids having their first ice cream is so special or celebrating their birthday at Tina's. We are part of so many wonderful memories - that is a gift."
Shaw said that when she and Tom first opened the ice cream store, many customers would tell her "this is exactly what Granby needed."
"To us we felt it was a perfect fit for such a family-oriented town, a place where friends and family can come unplug and just sit together, visit and enjoy an ice cream!" Shaw said.
Tina's had a presence at many community events, including the local farmers' market, Dogg Daze, Celebrate Granby and the Lacrosse Jamboree. For the past two years, the Shaws donated free ice cream socials to elementary school classes that raised the most money for the annual jog-a-thon. The business also garnered 800 fans on Facebook.
One of the ice cream store's swan song events in early December involved partnering with small businesses for a fundraiser, offering free pints of ice cream in exchange for donations to a local food bank.
Shaw leaves her ice cream store with a positive outlook.
"We did it - we lived the dream!" Shaw said. "I hope that someone gets the vision we had and takes over the shop. People need a place to slow down - and just take a minute to ENJOY life. Tina's Ice Cream was that for many people.... I would just hope that people remember to slow down and laugh and eat ice cream!"