Hilltops
Hartwick College's Student Newspaper

The View From Oyaron Hill

The Inside Scoop: 

Pie in the Sky Rumors Upheld

10.13.15

Lauren O’Brien


Coming back to Hartwick after a long summer is always exciting! I love the Main Street culture and the breathtaking views up on Oyaron Hill. Possibly one of my favorite mom-and-pop shops in the area is Pie in the Sky, a Hartwick favorite located just south of Oneonta on State Highway 7. However, rumor has had it that, after this fall season, Pie in the Sky will no longer serve ice cream, which has struck many students as unbelievable, given that this is one of the best features of the business. So, in an attempt to discover the truth (and enjoy some treats too), I ventured to the outskirts of Oneonta.


I was able to meet with Janet Powers, one of the co-owners of the business, who was thrilled to meet us and answer our questions. Janet and her husband opened Pie in the Sky as a produce stand back in 1980. As the years passed and revenues increased, the couple decided to expand their business, adding pastries and other food items. But the defining moment for the business was receiving the Polar Bear ice cream machine eighteen years ago. This vintage machine has been passed amongst businesses in the Oneonta community that were interesting in selling ice cream for years. According to Janet, “No matter how you make ice cream, it just isn’t the same as when you use the Polar Bear Machine. There is just nothing like it.”  


Sadly, the rumor that Pie in the Sky will no longer be selling its signature Polar Bear ice cream is actually true. “After doing this for eighteen years, my husband and I felt that it was time to pass the Polar Bear to the next people who wanted it. My husband and I wanted to cut back our hours so we can enjoy life as we get older,” Powers explained. During the summer hours, she and her husband are not able to leave until after 10:30pm, and that is not the lifestyle they wish to have anymore. But while they are cutting back on ice cream, they are not completely closing down; instead, they are revamping their business and are looking to change its focus. 


Next season, they will have a heavier concentration of vegan and organic options. They plan to continue to sell all of their fresh produce, and hope to include plant-based, dairy-free options for their customers, emphasizing organics and natural growth. They will continue to sell pumpkins during the fall, and raise and sell Christmas trees during the holiday season in December.


Due to all of these changes, the hours of operation will change as well. The Powers plan to close at 6:00pm rather than 9:00pm so they can enjoy evenings without being swamped with business. Additionally, rather than opening in April, they will wait to open until July when all of their produce will be fresh and ready to sell.


Powers did mention that the Polar Bear Machine will be moved to a family destination-type business on Route 28, and although she doesn’t know the exact location, she said that she will be sure to “let all of the college students know so they can continue to get ice cream.” So, for all you seniors for whom Pie in the Sky ice cream has been a staple of your Hartwick experience, for all of you who love and support Janet and her husband, and even those of you who have never had the pleasure of going, make sure to take a trip out to Pie in the Sky before the end of the season! Prices are cheap and the ice cream and pastries are to die for!