VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — Ben Treadwell arrived at his shop, Bendy’s Cookies and Cream, early Friday morning. While it was another day of baking cookies and prepping ice cream, this day was far from ordinary.
“There’s just a lot of emotions going on right now,” said Treadwell.
Treadwell and his wife, Wendy, opened up their shop in June following a successful run as a food truck for several years. For them, opening up a brick and mortar store was a dream come true.
“You start working, making cookies and ice cream, you get that smell and people walk through the door and you realize why you’re doing it,” said Treadwell.
A second dream for Ben and Wendy came true that same month when they had a son, Owen. But in July, Owen passed away.
The shop has been closed ever since.
“We’ll be healing for the rest of our lives,” said Treadwell.
But this day is an important part of that healing process. It’s the reopening of the store, and the community took notice.
Luisa Moody, for example, arrived hours before the doors opened with balloons.
“I would never want to go through what they’re going through so I just want to put a smile on their face,” said Moody.
Jennifer Cummings was the first paying customer of the day. For her, she can relate to the Treadwell’s heartache.
“In 2016 life hit us between the eyes,” said Cummings. “When that happens and you’re your own business owner, you do what you can do help somebody.”
Dozens more came out throughout the week to hang heartfelt notes on the Bendy’s storefront. Friday, hundreds came out for the re-opening and some even spearheaded a balloon release in honor of Ben and Wendy.
“We knew that this community was special,” said Treadwell. “But now we’re really getting a taste for how special.”
For Ben and Wendy, it’s been a soul-crushing month. But, they’re not giving up. Neither on their love for what they do, nor on their dream of having a big family.
“We just want to have kids more than ever before,” said Treadwell.
Ben Treadwell tells CBS 42 that for those who wish to support him and Wendy during this time, they are encouraged to stop by the shop.
The community has also organized a Go Fund Me to raise money for the couple, and a link may be found here.