by Stephanie Musarra
I got my morning dose of therapy at “Therapy Ice Cream, and Coffee Bar” on Aug. 1. I hadn’t slept well the previous night and I left my house without grabbing breakfast, but the warm, friendly atmosphere of the establishment made me feel right at home. I got to sample coffee and strawberry ice cream topped with espresso.
After my conversation with business owner Pam Strong, she joked, “You should be able to jog home after all the caffeine I gave you.”
Stephanie Musarra: What made you decide to open your own business?
Pam Strong: I have a passion for baking and coffee. My husband has a passion for ice cream, so we combined our interests.
SM: What challenges have you faced as a business owner?
PS: The shop has only been opened since July 26. My biggest challenge so far is making people aware that we open early for coffee.
SM: What advice can you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
PM: Do the research. Put a plan together. Make sure it’s something you’re passionate about.
SM: Why did you decide to start a business in Akron?
PS: I researched the area. A friend owned the building and we bought it. We have a real estate business. My husband flips houses, and he’s good at transforming buildings.
SM: How did you decide on the name “Therapy Ice Cream?”
PS: Coffee and ice cream are my therapy. You can visit with friends over coffee and ice cream. It’s cheaper than spending $100 an hour at the psychiatrist’s office. Ice cream makes people happy.
SM: What coffee and ice cream flavors do you recommend?
PS: My favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate and peanut butter. I recommend the black cherry float. I also recommend the steamer. It contains no coffee. It’s made with steamed milk, lavender, and vanilla.
SM: What is the “Yarn Therapy” event?
PS: On Wednesday afternoons in October, I will have someone coming in to teach knitting and crochet. Anyone who is interested in sewing is welcome to attend. This gives like-minded people a chance to relax, make friends and learn from each other.
SM: What kind of breakfast items do you plan to serve?
PS: We will be serving breakfast items next week. We’ll offer breakfast bowls with roasted potatoes, rosemary, red pepper, onion, cheese, and scrambled eggs on top. We’re also including low-calorie options to the menu. You can choose between the yogurt parfait, or a protein box. The protein box includes two hard-boiled eggs, fruit, and almonds.