Champaign Custard Cup suddenly closes shop

CHAMPAIGN--Jarling's Custard Cup locked up for the last time Monday afternoon, when the Champaign store sold its last scoops at 3:45 pm, closing the lid on a shop that's been a staple of the community for more than 31 years.

The line was two hours long, but those in it say it was worth the wait.

"I want to give my daughter the last memory before they close," said customer, Holli Finley.

Finley has been coming to Jarling's Custard Cup since its Champaign store opened in 1983.

"With my grandparents when I was a little girl, and then my parents," said Finley.

Macy Slade grew up making the same frequent trips.

"My sisters and I have been coming here since we were little," said Slade, another customer. "It's my dad's favorite place. We used to ride our bikes here, we live up the road."

So when she heard the ice cream shop was put up for sale earlier this month, she was sad. But that turned into shock Sunday, when a sign announced that Custard Cup would shut down as soon as they sold their last scoop in stock.

"When we found out it was closing with the original owners, we decided to make it out," said Slade. "And we got here just in time."

Because owners Christy and Doug Jarling served that last cup of custard at 3:45 Monday afternoon.

"We're sorry," Christy told customers that were still waiting in line when they sold out. "But when they mix ran out, the mix ran out."

They did not want to comment about the closure, but  a post on the Custard Cup Facebook page says they will be "negotiating the sale of the Champaign store and training the new owners."

Finley is just happy she reached the counter in time to get the last scoops ever served under their ownership.

"She had just enough to fill most of our order," said Finley. I actually had more to order, but they didn't have enough."

So she'll be back once they reopen with new management, but the same old recipe. Until then, she'll remember this last treat as being bittersweet.

For those who still need their Custard Cup fix, the Danville store will remain open. No official word on when the Champaign location will be back in business under new ownership.  

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