MOORHEAD — Besides learning how to operate during a pandemic, staff at Tastee Freez, a popular Moorhead ice cream shop, have experienced several setbacks this summer.
During the night vandals ransacked Tastee Freez on the city's east side. No arrests had been made as of Tuesday, July 14.
There were no Boston Shakes or cones with sprinkles at the Moorhead Tastee Freez. Instead, it is a day of heartbreak and anger.
"This window is completely smashed in. There is some hanging glass, which is why we secured it," said Tastee Freez co-owner Jess Malvin, describing how vandals took hammers to bust up windows and destroy the inside of the Moorhead Tastee Freez.
"The compressor in back was damaged. ... They fixed it, but everything went into the red danger zone," Malvin said. "All of our mix, ice cream because it went below temp, everything has to go. All of our cheese, hot dogs, corn dogs, strawberries, everything."
The vandals broke the compressor and climbed on top of the roof to do more destruction.
"Just about everything: candy jars, sprinkles, everything was smashed, broken. Everything has glass in it. It all has to go," Malvin said. "We have a mallet hammer we use for smashing up candy and that is what they used to hammer everything."
Tastee Freez is a favorite summer tradition for many residents, and it has been part of Moorhead's fabric since 1963. It’s one of just five locations left in the lower 48 states. Malvin took over the business three years ago, and since then, it has been a series of challenges.
The company lost customers during more than a year of construction by the delayed underpass next door. Then, like every business, they had to figure out their "new normal" during the pandemic.
Moorhead police are still looking for the culprits. Security cameras were on back-order for the store, so there is no footage to review.
For now, Tastee Freez staff need to deal with the days of cleanup ahead, and have hopes to open this weekend.
Moorhead police ask for the public's help to identify the culprits. Anyone with information should call 701-451-7660.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Tastee Freez owners. Those interested in donating can click here.