Tina’s Ice Cream is establishing itself on the Granby Green, gathering a growing clientele and making fans amongst town residents, especially young ones.
Tina and Tom Shaw have entered their third year of running the ice cream shop near the center of Granby’s commercial area. While both work fulltime jobs, they are happy to open the doors at Tina’s through nine months each year.
“This year is our best year so far,” Tina Shaw said.
Tina’s emphasizes local products. Before deciding to serve more than 25 flavors from third-generation dairy Bliss Bros., located in Attleboro, MA, the Shaws looked into carrying ice cream from Simsbury’s Tulmeadow Farm.
Another major local product line, Avery’s Beverages of New Britain, allows Tina’s to carry on the name of one of the building’s previous longtime tenants, Avery’s General Store. While Tina Shaw said the two Avery families aren’t related, the unique chance to recognize the shop’s pedigree is a delight.
“You can’t buy that kind of history,” she said.
Besides cones, cups and specialty sodas, Tina's also offers milkshakes, floats, sundaes, and more, often rotating in seasonal ice cream flavors.
Children have been invaluable in the business’ growth, Shaw said, noting that her business is positively involved with local schools and often mentioned by name during the morning announcements made by students at .
Tina’s is a family-friendly place – the atmosphere is reflected in the art made by satisfied customers hung on the walls – and the Shaws are happy to see children, parents and grandparents frequent Tina’s. One customer, a young girl, enjoys the ice cream parlor so much that she’s held three consecutive birthday parties at Tina’s.
“My best fans are children,” Shaw said.
As the business continues to operate, Shaw said she sees kids grow up, both the children of regular customers and the teenage staff at the shop.
The biggest change in Tina Shaw’s life since opening the parlor is being a kind of local celebrity, she said. Shaw was at her daytime job at Cigna during a take your child to work day. When in line at the cafeteria, a young girl learned whom Shaw was and became thrilled, jumping up and down.
“It’s ice cream fame,” Shaw said with a laugh.
Tina Shaw’s favorite part of running the ice cream parlor is “making kids smile.” The biggest challenge is “working full-time and running an ice cream shop,” she said.
Shaw said she and her husband, West Granby natives, chose to open their shop in Granby because of the strong family ethics and values present in town.
“This is the perfect town for it,” Shaw said of the shop.
Tina's is located at 4 Park Place (on the Granby Green). It is open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, throughout the summer 2012 season. To learn more about Tina’s Ice Cream, visit its website.