ShareThis Page
Harrison family goes all-in on Tarentum ice cream stand |
Valley News Dispatch

Harrison family goes all-in on Tarentum ice cream stand

| Friday, March 30, 2018 8:45 a.m
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Cindy Hatajik, owner of Cindy's Soft-Serve, Custard and More, is the latest victim of flag thefts with six stolen from her business this week.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Chuck Henry, 51, of Kittanning, waits for service outside Cindy's Soft-Serve, Custard and More in Tarentum on Friday, March 23, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Chuck Henry, 51, of Kittanning, gives his order at Cindy's Soft-Serve, Custard and More in Tarentum on Friday, March 23, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The interior of Cindy's Soft-Serve, Custard and More in Tarentum on Friday, March 23, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Vanilla ice cream is scooped onto a cone at Cindy's Soft-Serve, Custard and More in Tarentum on Friday, March 23, 2018.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Cindy's Soft-Serve, Custard and More's first dollar is hung on the wall above the cash register in Tarentum on Friday, March 23, 2018.

There’s a lot of ugliness in this world.

Cindy Hatajik knows something that helps — ice cream!

Hatajik and her family — husband, Bob, and son, Cody Lee, 19 — recently opened Cindy’s Soft-Serve, Custard and More across from Dreshar Stadium on First Avenue in Tarentum.

There’s a dozen ice creams and three custards, with which Cindy whips up all kinds of sundaes, floats, milkshakes, cyclones and “boats” — like the “Elvis,” which features custard, banana, peanut butter sauce, chocolate-covered bacon and whipped cream.

The walk-up eatery also features a variety of food, including burgers, hot dogs, hoagies and pizza.

The “Abundant Joy Burger” — named for her church, Abundant Joy Fellowship — comes with caramelized onions, hot mustard, provolone, lettuce and tomato.

Going into business was a family decision. They rented the building in Tarentum after a deal to buy a place in Harrison fell through.

“We talked about it as a family. We prayed about it a lot,” she said. “If God wanted us in this direction, he’d pull us in this direction.”

.lemonwhale-embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width:100%; }.lemonwhale-embed-container iframe { position: absolute; top: 0; left:0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Natives of Harrison, Cindy and Bob will celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary in May. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Bob Hatajik retired from PPG in East Deer in 2008, where he had worked his whole life.

Cody Lee runs his own concession trailer, “Cody’s Cabana,” from which he sells festival foods such as funnel cake and fried Oreos. Now, he helps in the kitchen.

“He’s got to learn the ropes,” his mother said.

Cindy was in nursing from 1985 to 2002. She makes jellies and mustard at home, which she said became a full-time job. They’ll be available at the ice cream stand.

“I always wanted to do something like this,” she said. “When I put my mind to something, I do it. I’m going to give it my all.”

The building in Tarentum, which has been home to a number of businesses over the years, was an empty shell when the Hatajiks got it. They painted everything — changing from green to blue — and bought new equipment.

Cindy expects to hire more people to work with the three of them as business picks up in the summer.

“We’re excited,” she said. But, also, “I’m scared. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.”

How does she deal with that? “Faith,” she said. “I have faith. We all have faith.”

She’s hoping for success.

“I’m hoping to stay long-term and be able to make it,” she said. “I don’t like to fail. I don’t ever want to fail. I want it to be a staple in the community.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, or on Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.