Richland ice cream shop pushes to stay open during COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home order

RICHLAND, Wash. — Non-essential businesses have until Wednesday night to close after Gov. Jay Inslee ordered everyone to stay home for at least two weeks. Some businesses are exempted from this, including a Richland ice cream shop.

Amethyst Creamery has been in business since November. Doug Tallman, the owner, said he’s appreciative of the customers during the winter months. But now, he’s trying to make it through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We hardly ever have any traffic now of folks coming in for ice cream because of this,” Tallman said. “We want them to know that they can — someone from their family can come out and grab a few containers of ice cream and take it home and enjoy it together as a family.”

Tallman is the sole employee of the shop on George Washington Way and Lee Boulevard near Howard Amon Park. He had seasonal employees when they first opened.

He’s still able to stay open because he can offer the ice cream to-go.

“As long as we can get some people in we’ll be OK,” Tallman explained. “If not, I’ll just have to take some out of savings and try to get through this and all of us together, you know so right now, I’m hoping not.”

The creamery not only offers non-dairy and vegan options, but also coffee. On top of that, he sells a wide variety of crystals, rocks, and minerals.

Tallman isn’t sure what the future is going to bring for his new small business but said he’ll keep his doors open even if he has to cut back hours.