SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – When the sun begins to illuminate the bright sky in the morning, it means Harry Leonardo is up and on his way to work.
The day starts with running his wholesale meat business until lunchtime and from 1-10 p.m., ice cream is being served to local customers.
At the age of 78, Leonardo is 12 years into retirement. But, he does not have a typical retiree routine.
“People say ‘When are you going to retire?’ and I tell them, ‘When they put me in that box I will,’” Leonardo said.
Leonardo is the owner of Harry’s Sweet Treats. He has run the shop since 2009, but bought the property in 2019 and changed the previous name from Pappy’s Ice Cream Corner, off Burnet Avenue.
At one time, the street was chock-full of businesses. Dominick’s restaurant sat across the street packed with local families in every booth while Shifty’s Bar played live music and provided drinks. Right next door: Harry’s Sweet Treats.
Unfortunately for Leonardo, Dominick’s Restaurant closed in 2020 and Shifty’s Bar has seen less foot traffic since the pandemic.
Local regulars were not stopping by and this was a problem for Leonardo.
“Somebody stopped one time and they says, ‘We got off the highway, we saw it was an ice cream store. We didn’t even know you existed,’” Leonardo said.
There is currently no information on Harry’s Sweet Treats online, no website, hours of operation, address on Google Maps or social media, almost as if the shop does not exist.
“I have been here 13 years and people don’t know we are here. Hopefully they will get to know us,” Leonardo said.
Leonardo said working all day and night does not afford him the time to advertise, but he makes it a priority to serve affordable, high caliber ice cream.
“We serve good, quality products. Everything here is quality. There’s nothing here that’s…I’m not looking to save a buck here or a buck there,” Leonardo said.
Harry’s Sweet Treats sells Turkey Hill ice cream products and one flavor rises above the rest for Leonardo.
“The dark chocolate is probably the best flavor I have ever had. As far as hard chocolate ice cream goes,” Leonardo said.
Leonardo hopes everyone in town can know where his store is because he loves serving the Syracuse community.
“That’s me, that’s me. I’m having fun doing this. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be doing it,” Leonardo said.
Harry’s Sweet Treats is open Monday through Sunday starting at 1 p.m. on 1400 Burnet Ave.