FARMINGTON, Maine — Wicked Gelato in downtown Farmington will close on Sunday.
It’s not because of the economy or a lack of business; it’s a lack of time for owner Karen Garland-Kidder.
“I’m flattered and humbled by how sad it is to people,” she said Friday of reaction to the closing. “I had hoped people loved us, but now I see the impact on the community.”
Since posting the closing this week, she’s received angry and tearful calls and realizes how much the business has touched the community. The phone has been ringing off the hook and lines appear for lunch, she said.
The decision came quickly, but there are no regrets so I know it’s right, she said. It’s bittersweet.
“My heart is heavy, and I’ll miss it, but I’m happy, too,” she said.
Owner for nearly the past two years of the Italian ice cream shop that features soups, paninis, lattes and special coffees on Main Street, Garland-Kidder said she loves the business, but she loves her family more.
Along with being a business owner, she’s the mother of two children ages 7 and 10, a wife, a pre-nursing student at the University of Maine at Augusta who will be in the nursing program next year, and she’s a Girl Scout leader.
Her husband works full time for NorthStar Ambulance while pursuing schooling in a paramedic program, she said.
During a school snow day this week, her children were not outside making snowmen. They were at the business doing dishes and reading books. There’s some hard decisions to make, she said.
“I have great children who’ll only be young once,” she said. “I love the business, but I love being a mom more.”
She’s had the opportunity to share her passion for food and good coffee but has come to realize the hours and work needed to make a business successful can interfere with family life and time for herself.
She has six employees, she said.
A couple of people have already expressed interest in the business. This may not be the end of Wicked Gelato, she said.
A goodbye video is posted on the Wicked Gelato Facebook page.