ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – The line at Hit’s Frozen Treats stretched outside the Roanoke shop and into the parking lot as customers streamed in during the business’ last day on Monday.
Erin and Richard Mardian did not stop moving since they opened Monday at 11:30 a.m.
The long-time owners of Hit’s haven’t stopped scooping ice cream since announcing their retirement and the closing of the Roanoke mainstay.
“Oh it’s just unbelievable,” Richard Mardian said of the response. “We knew we’d have more people this year than usual.”
Marquita Payne was first in line Monday, one of dozens of loyal customs who came in to pick up three pints of ice cream, the limit per sale.
“This is one of my happy places that now I’m going to have to cross off my list,’ explained Payne.
She made visiting Erin and Richard and getting what she and others calls the best ice cream in town a priority, even ahead of registering to vote before Monday night’s deadline.
“I would skip my voter registration to come here and get your ice cream,” she joked.
Richard said despite all the flavors his wife concocted and he mixed through the years, they’ll miss the customers most.
“They’re just awesome customers. Roanoke has the best people in the world. This whole Valley came, Bedford, Franklin County, it was unbelievable,” he said.
But it’s not enough to make them reconsider their decision.
“It makes it terrible. We got to go home this morning and we both had tears in her eyes. We really did.”
Richard promises “something good” for the neighborhood will take its place.
“We have over 20 people that have called already. Some call every day,” he said.
But he tells them to wait until Tuesday to call so they can savor today.