Ellen Wisniewski, owner of Nedley's Ice Cream and Coffee Cafe, jokes with a customer while two of her patrons grab lunch Friday afternoon Nedley's location in Perrysburg.
Baby, it's cold outside, but it's quite warm and cheerful inside Nedley's Ice Cream and Coffee Cafe -- even with all of the frozen treats.
Shopkeeper Ellen Wisniewski has co-owned the Perrysburg business with husband Ned for five years, buying the store in July, 2007 when it was a Baskin-Robbins.
Without the franchise limitations, she said, they were able to add an espresso machine and offer meal options such as hot dogs, chicken salad wraps, and chili. Nedley's also sells ice cream by the bucketful and custom-created frozen cakes and pies.
"I'll do whatever you'll buy," said Ms. Wisniewski, who lives in Toledo's Old Orchard neighborhood.
Crystal McNutt, of Perrysburg, came to the store recently to pick up a fondant-covered cake decorated with trains for her son's second birthday.
"We come here all the time," she said.
Ms. McNutt said her family likes to eat lunch at Nedley's after swimming at the city pool. Big attractions for her children are the toys Ms. Wisniewski piles along a window bench and a superhero-themed ice cream.
"My boys come here and play with the trucks and get their Supermans, and it's a whole family affair," she said.
The baked-goods case is full of miniature confections from 7 Little Cupcakes, owned by Janee Carpenter of Perrysburg, and they help bring in customers to Nedley's, Ms. Wisniewski said.
"It's all about traffic. ... What's good for her is good for us. It's the abundance theory," she said.
Ms. Wisniewski is committed to promoting other locally owned businesses. A committee member and former board member of Toledo Choose Local, she helped spread the Shift Your Shopping campaign in Perrysburg.
"Build Community! Buy Local!" a bumper sticker proclaims on a bulletin board inside the cafe, which is scattered with bistro tables where dining patrons also could play with one of the several puzzles and board games stacked in a corner, or pull out a laptop and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.
Without much budget for advertising, Ms. Wisniewski said social media helps spread the word that Nedley's serves Hershey's premium ice cream and specialty coffee drinks at quite reasonable prices.
Diana Vanmeter, who recently visited Nedley's for the first time, attested to the success of those marketing efforts.
"My girlfriend just came in here and she blew it all up on Facebook," said Ms. Vanmeter, of Perrysburg. She ended up buying a dozen cupcakes to surprise another friend for her birthday.
A particular draw at Nedley's for Sharon Launder, of Maumee, is that she can share a treat with 7-year-old daughter Allison, who has Type I diabetes.
"She has lots of no-sugar options," Ms. Launder said.
Other treats can be made without gluten, lactose, nuts, or eggs for customers with special dietary needs.
Nedley's is located in the Fort Meigs Shopping Center at 200 East South Boundary St.
For more information, check Nedley's Facebook page or call 419-874-1176.
Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at 419-356-8786, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @RebeccaConklinK.
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