Scoop of the day

Teddy’s ice cream opens today with new owners, old menu

Robin and John Gay will open Teddy’s Ice Cream and Grill in Bloomingdale for the summer season this week, after purchasing the ice cream stand their children have worked summer jobs at for years. (Enterprise photos — Aaron Marbone)

BLOOMINGDALE — Robin and John Gay’s children have worked summer jobs at Teddy’s Ice Cream and Grill for years. But when the ice cream stand soft opens for the season tonight, it will be their parents running the place.

Robin said their oldest daughters, Katie and Madie — who are now in college — worked there for seven years. Their younger daughter, Emily, has worked there for two years. All this time, they’ve fantasized about how it would be a fun business to run.

“We always joked about it but never thought it would actually come to fruition,” Robin said.

At the end of the last season, they reached out to the owner, Vincent Wilcox, and asked if he wanted to sell. He did, and they bought the business in October.

They said all their kids are excited about this, including their youngest, Andrew.

All four of their children will be working at the stand.

“We’re going to put them all to work,” John said.

He said they waited to open until their older daughters got back from college.

Robin and John said their kids always enjoyed working there. They’d come home and talk about the “regulars” who would stop in to visit.

Madie became good friends with a girl around her age who came from California every year to spend the summer in the Adirondacks with her grandmother. When her grandmother brought her out for a frozen treat, they’d hang out and chat. Now they’re pen pals.

The Tedford family opened the business in 2002. The name came from their last name, John said. The stand has passed through several hands in the two decades since.

Robin said kids who have worked there in past summers will be returning, all from Bloomingdale and Vermontville.

They’re also bringing back the classic menu.

“We just want to bring it back to the original Teddy’s with burgers, fries and ice cream,” Robin said, adding that they’ll also sell michigans, chicken fingers and onion rings.

Three generations of their family are getting in on the business. “Nana” and “Papa” have been painting, restoring and installing to get the stand ready.

“I don’t know if we’d be doing this without her,” John said of Robin’s mother, Kathy Merrill.

John said they’ve never owned a business like this before, but he thinks he’s getting the hang of the ice cream machines. There’s a lot more to them than meets the eye, he said. They bought a second machine to double their soft serve capacity.

They’ll also have hard ice cream, with gluten free, dairy free, vegan and low sugar options.

The flavors of the week will continue and the first one is black raspberry.

Robin and John are planning a soft opening for the shop today at 3 p.m.

“Everybody kind of knows about it now. Maybe it’s not going to be soft,” John said with a laugh.

Robin said every day they’ve been working on the building, people who drive by and see them have been pulling in to ask them about when they’re opening. John said he hears the questions all the time at work.

On Tuesday, the couple were decked out in Teddy’s apparel. They have baseball jerseys for employees to wear on “baseball nights,” when local teams come by for cones after games. They also had hats and baseball helmet ice cream bowls. Robin said they will be selling all this merchandise at some point.


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