Social distancing urged while patrons stand in line at local business
By Pat Payton
It’s safe to buy ice cream and other food products at Hearn’s Ice Cream, says owner Bob Hearn.
Due to the on-going health concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, the popular ice cream shop is taking all the necessary precautions to keep their employees and the public as safe as possible.
“It is very safe, and hopefully everyone at home is keeping safe,” Hearn told the Independent last week. “If people are out for a drive or a walk, maybe some ice cream will cheer them up a little bit. It might go a long way these days.”
While restaurants have been asked to indefinitely close, Hearn’s is allowed to stay open because they operate strictly a take-out business. The Queen’s Street East business opened for the 2020 season on March 14.
“The Perth County Health Unit is calling every restaurant in Perth County, and they explained the preventive measures you should do to stay open,” Hearn said.
“Sanitize” is probably the most important message from the health unit.
“Number one was washing your hands all the time,” he said. “Employees, delivery guys and anyone who comes in the store have automatically got to wash their hands.
“And we’re trying to get everyone to use ‘tap’ on the debit machines and the debit machines get sanitized every time they’re used. If people use cash, employees have to wash their hands every time. All round, we’re just trying to keep everything clean. We were doing it before, but we’re doing it even more now.”
Social distancing important
Hearn said the Health Unit also suggested that there should be a safe distance between patrons standing in line.
“If there’s too many people, they suggest going out and asking them to stay in their cars until other people get their orders,” he said. “We haven’t had that problem yet, but if we do, one of the staff or I will go out and politely ask them to stay in their cars.”
Hearn says the Minister of Finance has announced that all businesses should be open if they are able to. “If I don’t open and sell some product, I’ll have thousands of dollars of product that I’ll have to throw out,” he said. “There’s a best-before date on it and if I don’t sell it, it goes down the drain. People can also call in and place their orders.”
Bob Hearn is now in his 20th season running Hearn’s Ice Cream in St. Marys. “I’ve always opened for the kids’ Spring Break. I’ve opened when it’s 20 below zero and plus 15, and every other temperature in between,” he added with a laugh. “I stay open until the first or second weekend of October.”