BY SKYLER, DEB & TIM SMITH
Welcome back to Week 2 of my tour of Mendon where we are going to visit two businesses that operate right across the parking lot from each other. If you like flowers and ice cream, this is your week.
FLOWERS AND FOUNTAINS
One afternoon last summer when I got off of work, Dad, Deb and I walked down to Schiefen Plaza, or at least that’s what we call it because it has been in the Schiefen family for two generations. Just to be sure everyone knows where I’m talking about, it’s the plaza on the right hand side just past Mendon Collision if you’re heading out of the hamlet toward Pittsford. We had scheduled an interview with Lauren Schiefen-Naramore who is the owner of Flowers and Fountains.
The four of us sat around a circular mosaic table and Lauren shared with us the background of her family’s property. Originally it was just the house in front and a mom-and-pop lawn and garden store which specialized in landscaping. When Wegman’s launched their Chase Pitkin Home and Garden franchise, her father saw the writing on the wall, phased out their business, and began to rent out the buildings on the property to other businesses. After the interview we counted twelve businesses in the plaza.
Lauren also reminded Dad and Deb of Mendon’s commercial lineup, back in the day, which includes my current house. On the south side of Rush Mendon Road, starting at the corner, there was the Mendon Grocery (now Mendon Wok), The Emporium Gift Shop (Black Horse Bistro), a residence (Carosa/Sentinel Building) and Broomfield Hardware (my house).
When I asked Lauren what the most unique thing was that she ever sold, she was ready with the perfect answer for the Smith family. Her response was that certainly her most unique item was the custom flower crown that she made for Dad and Deb when they got married. “But,” she said, “you were the one that had to multi-task on that wonderful day, I heard that you served in four separate capacities at their wedding. They told me you were the ring bearer, best man, witness, and videographer.
Doesn’t seem fair to me. Their only job was to say, ‘I do’ while you were working your butt off.” I had to agree; I never worked harder until I started writing for the Sentinel.
Having been a lifelong resident of Mendon, from a family entrenched in the business history of the hamlet, Lauren’s expertise was greatly appreciated and will be reflected throughout my series of articles as they continue.
MENDON DAIRY SHACK
It was an ice cream day when we visited Cindy Pedeville at the Mendon Dairy Shack. The hot August sun had us conducting the interview huddled in a narrow strip of shade along the front of the building.
Cindy grew up in Honeoye Falls and had great things to say about the vibe at Scheifen Plaza. When the ice cream parlor, formerly known as Mr. Twister, became available last year she couldn’t resist the urge to scoop it up, pun intended. This is her second summer in Mendon and running the Dairy Shack provides her with the perfect opportunity to stay cool from May through October.
Want to hear an ice cream flavor you might find tantalizing? I asked her what the most unique flavor ever offered by the Mendon Dairy Shack. Her answer was lavender and goat cheese. I’ll take two scoops, with sprinkles.
This story ends on an ironic note, and not a sweet one for me. The day I did this interview my doctor informed me that I am lactose intolerant. Subsequently I am no longer going to be able to carry my weight in terms of supporting the Dairy Shack so I am hereby encouraging my Sentinel readers to step up their support and help fill the void my lactose intolerance has created.
Next week, we’ll walk across the parking lot of Scheifen Plaza and drop in on Pizza D’s.