Restaurant Notes: Fort Wayne Zesto on Broadway getting ready to close for season

You know it’s autumn when the Zesto closing-for-the-season sign goes up.

Sunday will be your last chance to get your twist cones and other favorites from the family-owned business. Janet Green, manager of the 2225 Broadway, started working for Zesto when Sebastian Diettrich, father of current co-owner Kirsten Connor, ran the business. She moved to Michigan and came back to Zesto, where she’s worked the last 19 summers.

“It’s in my heart,” she said of Zesto. “I never wake up and not want to go to work. There aren’t many jobs you can say that about.”

She’d guess that vanilla is the favorite flavor of Broadway customers, especially because it’s from a recipe made specifically for Zesto. Green likes to keep track on numbers. One that sticks out: 178. That’s how many banana splits they sold in one day a few years ago, a number they came close to earlier this spring, Green said. Boston coolers, a mixture of vanilla ice cream and ginger ale, is another big seller.

The items don’t change too much, Green said. “We have the menu that works.”

It’s a formula that has worked for over 50 years, 47 of them under the same family ownership, now Kirsten Connor and her husband, Chris.

The job can get a little stressful when the lines get long, but it’s hard to imagine any customers being grumpy when they’re getting ice cream. They may balk if prices rise, but the business wants to provide the best, and sometimes that costs a little more, Green said.

Who’s your owner?

We’ve been trying to track down someone connected to the Hoosier Daddy’s Barbecue that seems to be going into a former convenience store at 5030 Bluffton Road. No luck yet. The sign is lighted but the phone number on it is disconnected as was one for the Secretary of State website registrant’s name, and no work looks to be done yet on the interior. The sign with the flaming pig says it will have pork, ribs and chicken.

Fundraiser to aid the hungry

The Fresh Market is hosting a Fill the Plate in-store fundraiser Oct. 4-31, where donations will be collected at the check-out to support No Kid Hungry.