By Nadja Popovich & Claire Ward
Last Friday, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop closed for the holiday season. Co-owners Doug Quint and Bryan Petroff are taking a break from the shop until it reopens Jan. 2, but the business partners won’t be taking a break from each other: the sultans of soft-serve have been a couple for six years.
Mr. Quint, who previously played the bassoon in various orchestras, said they stumbled into the ice cream business by accident. In 2008, he jumped on an opportunity to rent a used ice-cream truck through a friend.
“I was keeping my ears and eyes open for weird things to do,” he said. Mr. Petroff hopped on board both with moral support and by helping serve ice cream nights after work.
After two years on the truck and countless ice cream cones, the duo decided it was either time to find something new or expand. To their fans’ delight, they decided to open the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop this past September.
The shop has proved so popular that even on a recent December afternoon, it was packed with customers such as Kristen, who took a bite of a specialty cone and said, “Oh, it’s amazing. Sweet and salty — vanilla and pretzel. It’s a wonderful combination.”
Mr. Petroff and Mr. Quint admitted they were unsure what working together would do to their relationship. “I do know other couples who own a business together and I always wonder...” said Mr. Petroff, before Mr. Quint finished his sentence: “How do they not kill each other?”
So far, the road has been relatively bump-free.
“We’re not curing cancer,” said Mr. Petroff, “we’re just having fun, and that has to always be at the forefront of what we do.”
“Just smile and sell ice cream, you could have much worse stuff to do in your life,” added Mr. Quint.
For more on how the couple met and how they keep it together, see The Local’s video.