LITTLE CURRENT – Three Cows and a Cone manager Carrie Moore, whose face would be very recognizable to the thousands of visitors who stop by the shop every year, was recently honoured for 25 years of service to her company by owner Phil Blake who also included a $2,500 gift to commemorate the occasion.
“It was an unexpected surprise, but it was really nice,” said Ms. Moore. “There’s been so many changes in trends and different flavours of ice cream over the years. It’s been a bit crazy at times but it’s been a good 25 years.”
Ms. Moore first got involved with Mr. Blake’s business when he purchased The English Pantry in downtown Little Current 25 years ago, where Ms. Moore was already working. The transition was not entirely smooth sailing, though.
“As funny as it is now, about two weeks after I purchased (the business), she came to me and said she wanted to quit. I talked her out of it and encouraged her to wait and see what we were doing because I promised she would like it,” said Mr. Blake.
Ms. Moore stuck it out and the two became closer and closer as the years passed. Mr. Blake moved south for a period of seven years mid-way through the 2000s and Ms. Moore took over the day-to-day operations of the business for that time.
“That says something about the type of person she is. It went really well—I only came up once a month to see how things were going, but in Carrie’s hands I didn’t have to worry too much,” Mr. Blake said.
When news of the 25th work anniversary gift emerged on social media, a flood of compliments and well-wishes surfaced from hundreds of people.
“I was a little overwhelmed. I don’t really like the spotlight but it’s been heartwarming. I didn’t realize I knew that many people,” Ms. Moore said with a laugh, adding that she recognized numerous faces of regular seasonal customers even if their names did not ring a bell.
Working in a family-oriented business like an ice cream shop has created unique perspectives for Ms. Moore.
“I’ve seen some of them for 25 years, when they’ve gone from babies to young adults who are starting to have families of their own,” she said. “It’s kind of neat to see all of the different changes in people and their growing families.”
Having someone with the ability to bond with customers and become a recognizable part of the Manitoulin experience has been a benefit for Mr. Blake, too, who said the people who visit her every year on their way to the cottage could always look forward to seeing Ms. Moore’s smile behind the ice cream bar.
“I couldn’t do this without her and I wanted to give her something substantial just to say thank you. I can’t say enough good things about Carrie,” he said. “Anyone who’s been working with someone for 25 years, especially with me, deserves to be rewarded for their hard work. This was just one way I could show my appreciation for everything she’s done for me over the years.”
Although tourist traffic should be down this season, Ms. Moore will undoubtedly still welcome her patrons with a wave and smile—even if it’s through a pane of glass during physical distancing. Mr. Blake said he hoped he could continue working with Ms. Moore for years to come.