FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Summer Sno, a northside business, has been handed down since the ’90s and is still keeping the Fort Cool.
Donna Sefton was used to having a cold sno-cone on hot Pittsburg days in her childhood. She missed having them.
So when she bought a little sno-cone shop in 1994, it wasn’t a surprise for anyone… except for her husband, Bob Sefton, who was hundreds of miles away serving with the Air National Guard.
Sefton was grateful that they at least liked the flavors, and 27 years later they still do. They operated the shop together and with their children.
The Seftons eventually sold the corner shop four years ago and said they miss it every day. Not the sno cones themselves or managing the operations, but all of the people, and particularly the children they got to help.
“The best part was giving sno cones to children. That’s the part I miss most,” said Donna.
Donna said that a number of times she would pay out of pocket for kids struggling with money so they could have a cold treat on a hot summer day.
Even though she misses helping those children, she cited her age as the main reason why they couldn’t keep operating as they did. They knew that despite loving what they did, they would have to sell the store, but they wanted to make sure that it stayed a sno cone shop for the community that had grown to love it.
A number of suitors from a rib shop to a parking lot all jockeyed for the spot, but eventually, Donna and Bob found the lot’s new owners.
New Owners Kendra Wetzel and Ken Buckle say that they think they’ve improved the shop while keeping the history alive.
“It’s been a very big tradition for a lot of families. I mean, they’re passing it down to their kids and their grandkids,” Wetzel said.
Beverley Lee was one such grandma passing it down to her grandkids. Although it’s a young tradition for her, as she started going to Summer Sno in 2019, she says after exposing her grandchildren to the snow cone shop, they want to go every week.
The shop now sells hot food items and had quite the crowd with a number of busy periods in the late afternoon Wednesday.
Summer Sno will be open for some upcoming holidays in an attempt to try and keep Fort Wayne cool, you can find out more information and hours of operation here.