What started as a job to repair an ice cream maker back in the 1970’s has finally come to an end as the Dairy Freeze under Stan Schoppe’s guiding hand. By the time this piece is published, it will have been five days since the Dairy Freeze saw its last day of business. As mentioned in earlier articles, the building and business were sold by Stan to Miguel Lopez not too long ago. Lopez owns and operates the Mexican restaurant Los Portales. When Stan made the announcement at the start of the month, people started coming far and wide to both pay their last respects and get one last meal.
Many of the staff there, Stan included, were quoted as saying, “If we had known we’d get business like this, we’d have told them a long time ago!”
Stan and the Dairy Freeze also got a tribute sent their way from the Virginia State Police, who could always rely on the Dairy Freeze as a place to catch a bite to eat. Vice Mayor Joy King and several others spoke of Stan taking the eatery and turning it into a local institution.
“He took something from nothing, and made a lot,” King commented at April’s Town Council meeting. “He was my dad’s best friend, and when you get to meet Stanley, you find out he’s an incredible person. He’s probably helped so many different people that we can’t count. The things he does for this community... it’s amazing what he does. It’s the end of an era.”
Councilman Booby Greene also spoke up, reminiscing about Stan and the Dairy Freeze providing local churches with boxes of fried chicken for Homecoming.
“He was so generous to us,” Greene stated. “We’d order something like a hundred meals worth of chicken, and pay half the price. He was good to not just this community, but all of them.”
Icons like this are hard to come by, and are to be nurtured and cherished by the towns that spawn them, for it is in these places that one often finds the soul of the community. It’s not known quite yet what is in store for the old Dairy Freeze.