Crash forces custard stand to close early

A popular custard shop has closed for the summer after a car plowed into the shop, damaging equipment and the building.

Cindy and Don Gress, who operate JD’s Old Fashioned Frozen Custard on Union Road (across from Centennial Park) and car wash behind it (“he runs the car wash, I run the custard stand,” she said), had hoped to have the custard machine repaired within a week of the Aug. 21 crash, but back-ordered parts made that an impossible goal.

Usually, the shop closes at the end of September anyway. Now, a few treats remain for sale out of a freezer sealed with towels, and the shop is still taking orders for special holiday desserts, but summer custard is over.

The accident occurred when a driver either fell asleep or had a medical emergency, jumped the Union Road median, ran over a street sign, a tree, a car curb, two heavy wooden benches and into the custard stand.

“It was a good thing it was the first day of school, or kids would have been sitting on those benches,” Cindy said. Two people were sitting at the table out front and another woman and I were in the back.

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“Suddenly, it sounded like an explosion. The freezer door flew open and lights came popping out of the sockets.”

This is the 15th year of the custard stand and it will reopen in March, around St. Patrick’s Day, as usual.

“This is the only job I’ve ever had where I loved going to work,” said Cindy. “We thought we could reopen for this season, but by the time we get the parts for the custard machine and get the freezer fixed, the season would be over, anyway. We usually close at the end of September.”

Last Saturday, the store opened for a few hours for those who wanted to purchase the few treats (all made in the store) left in the damaged freezer, and at least one other day will be set aside for the same offer.

The store also makes holiday custard in peppermint, eggnog, pumpkin pie, vanilla, chocolate and lemon as well as peppermint bars and homemade Buckeyes. Orders must be placed by Nov. 11 and picked up the weekend of Dec. 7-9. The store can be reached online at JDcustard.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

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