Ice Cream and Coffee: How the Northland Copes with the Cold
Two Local Businesses Remain Open with Customers to Show for It
DULUTH, Minn.- The extreme cold doesn’t keep the Northland from getting out to enjoy the finer things in life.
Because if you think temps that feel like -40 keep people here inside, you don’t know Minnesota.
“The weather doesn’t bother me at all.”
Armon Freeman, a Junior at Denfeld High School, walks into Bridgeman’s in Duluth with his cousins, wearing only a sweater and jeans.
“Nobody wants to sit inside all day,” he said. “So school is off, trying to have fun, thought we’d come in here first.”
When the cold bites this hard, many business owners don’t brave the elements to come in.
But businesses like Bridgeman’s stay open to help Duluthians take their mind off the fridgidness.
“People come to get homemade food and comfort foods, and ice cream even, we sold a lot of malts today,” said Hostess Amy Roper.
So how can people enjoy these frozen treats on such a frozen day?
“I think because people from Minnesota like to prove themselves,” she said. “Make themselves feel like nothing can hold them back or hold them down.”
“And for some reason when you’re freezing cold, you just want a malt to comfort your soul, I guess.”
Armon knew immediately what he was getting with his meal.
“Strawberry Malt. That’s my favorite actually.”
Just like Bridgeman’s, Perk Place Coffeehouse and Bakery is another business who opened, purely based on fate.
“My car started so I figured I was going to come here,” said Manager Ria Takhar.
And it’s a good thing she did.
The place became packed by midday, with them being one of the only coffeehouses open.
“The last 2 days were busier than normal,” she said. “The early morning we didn’t have any of our regulars. But it didn’t really pick up until about 11 a.m., and then we stayed pretty packed until close to close.”
From students spending the snow-day studying, to friends finding a toasty place to chat, Perk Place is now a heated haven in this chill.
Whether you’re showing your strength with a scoop, or escaping the cold with a cup of Joe, spending the polar vortex at one of these hot spots, with your friends, may just be the best way to warm up.
Under one condition, of course.
“Unless my car doesn’t start.”