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A taste of paradise in Tamaqua

The décor of Tamaqua’s newest ice cream shop is almost as bright as the flavors it scoops up.

Cotton candy pinks, cherry vanilla reds, and mint chocolate chip greens come together to make Flamingo Ice Cream and Treats one colorful and happy place.

“Welcome! Welcome!” owner Shawn Pourmonir greets customers from behind the counter at the 300 Lafayette St. business.

Today, he’s wearing a signature suit - a colorful get-up sprinkled with palm trees, tropical waters, and of course, flamingos.

He moves to a chair with candy-cane stripes to talk about the venture.

“I got this place a couple of years ago and I see many, many children passing by here,” he said. “As a child, I had a great life. The best life I ever had. So I thought maybe I could open something where the children can have fun.”

Pourmonir got to work by brightening up the bar area at the former Martha’s Place. He painted walls pinks and reds, and tiled the bar in white.

He added tables, and on each one, he placed an inflatable flamingo and vibrant flowers.

“I did everything myself. It came to my mind,” he said.

With everything in place, Flamingo Ice Cream opened in mid-September.

Employees serve up Hershey’s ice cream, milkshakes, waffles and more.

“The children come here from school and they sit here and chit chat and have fun,” Pourmonir said.

The youngest of customers arrive with their parents, and enjoy the games and toys that are near a side window.

“They don’t want to leave when they are here by the toys,” he said.

Families come, too, as do senior citizens.

It’s a safe place to relax and enjoy something sweet, Pourmonir said.

Cotton candy, pumpkin and Blue Panda are popular flavors, he noted. He has strawberry cheesecake, peanut butter cup and go-to’s like chocolate and vanilla. Lactose- and sugar-free are available, too.

He makes milkshakes, sundaes and a special shake of milk, banana, honey, almond and dates.

Pourmonir has a waffle iron on a side counter, and can make sundaes in waffle bowls.

“People are very nice here. As soon as we opened, they brought us gifts,” he said.

A woman painted two flamingos, which he hung behind the counter, and a couple brought flamingo necklaces from New Orleans.

“People say, ‘Oh you like flamingos? Here you go,’” he said.

He also started a “Wall of Fame” and is hanging artwork created by his young customers. He plans to change the wall every two weeks.

“The kids are excited. I’m telling them to bring their own drawings and I’ll put them up here,” he said.

There’s a backyard with seating for those who like to take their treats outside.

Flamingo Ice Cream will host a children’s costume party at 3 p.m. Oct. 15. There will be a karaoke singalong, and Pourmonir plans to dress like Elvis.

Five percent of sales are donated to charities that help children with medical conditions.

For October, Flamingo will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from 2-7 p.m. Hours are updated on Facebook.

Shawn Pourmonir recently opened Flamingo Ice Cream and Treats at the site of the former's Marta's Place restaurant, 300 Lafayette St., Tamaqua. JILL WHALEN/TIMES NEWS
A variety of Hershey's ice cream is available for cones, dishes, sundaes or milkshakes at Flamingo Ice Cream and Treats in Tamaqua.
Flamingos and fun decorations are inside Flamingo Ice Cream and Treats in Tamaqua. JILL WHALEN/TIMES NEWS
A striped table awaits customers to Flamingo Ice Cream and Treats in Tamaqua. JILL WHALEN/TIMES NEWS
The ice cream counter at Flamingo Ice Cream in Tamaqua also has blenders for milkshakes and a waffle maker. JILL WHALEN/TIMES NEWS
A “Wall of Fame” featuring young customers' artistic creations is inside Flamingo Ice Cream and Treats in Tamaqua. JILL WHALEN/TIMES NEWS