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Family aims to make downtown Williamsport cooler and sweeter

July 13, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ
  • Lindsey, left, and Morgan Smith will help serve up cold treats at the Williamsport Creamery, which their parents, Rob and Joy Smith, plan to open Friday at the corner of Conococheague and Potomac streets.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT -- A Williamsport family wants to make the downtown a little sweeter.

Rob and Joy Smith and their daughters, Lindsey and Morgan, plan to open Williamsport Creamery, an ice cream shop, this week at the corner of Conococheague and Potomac streets.

Joy Smith said she and her husband talked about starting a business if they ever saw a corner storefront open up in Williamsport.

For decades, Jeanne House ran Jeanne's Confectionery there.

More recently, it was Shorty's Kitchen.

Now, the Smiths are leasing the place.

Rob Smith said he told his wife, "Let's take the chance. Let's see where it takes us."

They figured running a business would give Lindsey, 21, and Morgan, 19, a place to work during their summer breaks from school.

Preparing the shop over the past few months has been a family enterprise, just like running it will be.

Morgan attends Longwood University in Farmville, Va. She's studying education and wants to be an English teacher.

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Lindsey is at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va. She's learning about photography and hopes to open her own studio someday.

They helped design the ice cream shop with a 1950s "Grease" feel to it.

The floor is black and white. The walls are turquoise.

A back wall is exposed brick and will have historic photos.

The Smiths will sell cones and sundaes with names that fit in with Williamsport and the C&O Canal, such as "Grand Old Ditch" and "Brownie Aqueduct."

Rob Smith said he likes the fact that the ice cream shop fits with a downtown rejuvenation movement by Mayor James G. McCleaf II and the town council.

"The mayor wants the town to prosper," Rob Smith said.

The Smiths said they did a "dry run" during a recent bike race and gave away 300 servings of ice cream.

Rob Smith said Tuesday that a final health department inspection is scheduled for Thursday. The shop is expected to open for good on Friday.

He said the family expects to keep Williamsport Creamery open seven days a week, from noon to 9 p.m.

The shop's phone number is 301-992-7552. A website is in development.

Rob Smith has worked for Washington County's Permits & Inspections Department for 26 years.

Joy Smith has worked at Tractor Supply Co. for five years after losing an earlier job with Allegheny Power.

Both will keep their jobs as they help run the shop.

"We've instilled good work habits in our family," she said.

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