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Minoa: Dine in, take out at Brad's

No ice cream in Minoa? Not so! Thanks to Kathy, Tom and Brad Cretaro. Open for almost two years now, Brad's Ice Cream Shoppe and Diner offers 30 flavors of hard and soft ice cream.

"My son just said, "There's no ice cream store in Minoa" so my husband said, 'Okay, we'll find one,' said Kathy Cretaro, co-owner of Brad's.

The father/son team found the property located just feet away from Lewis Park and began their family-run business in July 2006. Along with ice cream, Brad's offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, including daily specials such as fried fish on Fridays -- a big seller among customers, Kathy said. Other choices include hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches and subs.

Favorites? Chicken parmigiana and chicken cordon bleu, according to Kathy.

"We do a lot of chicken sandwiches," she affirmed.

Got ice cream cake?

Yes, that too. Patrons can custom order cold cakes for birthday parties, anniversaries or any celebration, and choose from any of the 30 flavors on offer, Kathy said, but you're asked to call three days out for special requests. Last minute walk-ins can grab a standard vanilla or chocolate cake from the freezer.

While Kathy and Tom own the shoppe, their son Brad, a lieutenant in the Minoa Volunteer Fire Department and new father of a healthy baby girl, runs the operation.

"Brad just loves kids and kids just love him," his mother said, smiling. "All the little girls walk in and they all have little crushes on him."

Brad was at the annual Minoa Fire Department field days last weekend, which is why Kathy was helping out.

"He's usually here," she said.

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