BRIDGEWATER — "Save the ice cream!"

That was the goal behind a GoFundMe page that raised more than $13,000 to help a beloved local Somerset County ice cream parlor replace a broken freezer.

A regular customer at Gabriel's Fountain Kitchen and Creamery in the Martinsville section started the fundraising page after noticing on the shop's Instagram that their freezer for ice cream broke and that they were keeping the sweet treats cold with dry ice.

The customer only identified as Kristen said that because 2020 was a terrible year for most local businesses, it would be nice for everyone to chip in and help the owners of Gabriel's get a new freezer to "save the ice cream."

Summer is peak season for ice cream sales and since this business did so much to help the community during COVID, it would be great to return the favor, she said.

"Having to shell out money for new equipment shouldn't have to hurt them more! Let's make it easier for them."

(Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media)

This message hit home to many because as of Wednesday morning, $13,345 has been raised so far to help Gabriel's purchase a new freezer.

The local ice cream shop is over the moon thrilled with all the support.

"We want to thank the community for the huge support! $13K is just ridiculous! It makes me feel like Sally Field winning the Oscar, "You Like Us! You Really Like Us!," said one owner on the shop's Facebook page.

They did say while they appreciate the money, they still need some time to figure out how to appropriate the funds. They can't just run over to a store and pick up a new freezer because commercial equipment works differently, especially during these times of low supply and high demand. A new freezer means multiple contractors, bigger planning and custom carpentry.

So for now, temporary repairs are being made to keep the ice cream as fresh as possible and available to customers.

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