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Ice cream shop named for owners' beloved dog opens on Longboat

Penny's Ice Cream offers a variety of flavors, fresh pastries and beverages like hot and iced coffee.
Penny's Ice Cream offers a variety of flavors, fresh pastries and beverages like hot and iced coffee.
Photo by Carter Weinhofer
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Ice cream always interested Greg Bukowski and Volha Siamashka. Now the couple is trying out a shop on Longboat Key. 

Their shop, Penny’s Ice Cream, is located 5610 Gulf of Mexico Drive. The shop’s logo draws people’s attention in itself: a friendly Chihuahua on a bright background. 

The Chihuahua, named Penny, was Bukowski’s dog. 

“She was the best dog,” he said about Penny. “Super calm, never gave trouble.” 

Penny also loved ice cream. After Penny died of cancer, the pair came up with the idea to name their new ice cream shop after Bukowski’s beloved pet. 

Bukowski, who also owns The Fountain Kitchen & Wine Bar in Sarasota, said he’s always been curious about an ice cream business. 

Volha Siamashka and Greg Bukowski opened Penny's Ice Cream at the end of February.
Photo by Carter Weinhofer

“It seems like an interesting business, like a happy business. People are in a good mood,” Bukowski said.

Originally from Belarus, Siamashka said she had a fondness for ice cream since she was a kid. But coming to America, she was intrigued by how ice cream here is richer and creamier. 

Siamashka and Bukowski said that they’ve been familiar with Longboat Key for a while, going to church, tennis and the beach on the island frequently. 

And having an ice cream shop close to the beach seemed like a smart business decision to both of them. 

“Whenever I go to the beach, I always crave ice cream on the way back. Ice cream and a drink. And I was thinking that this could be a pretty simple business,” Bukowski said. 

Aside from ice cream sourced from Yoder’s, Penny’s has hot and iced coffee, a variety of cold beverages and fresh pastries. 

Bukowski and Siamashka had a soft opening for Penny’s around the end of February, after a couple months of work getting things in order and finalizing permitting. There wasn’t much work to be done on the interior, aside from decorating, Bukowski said. 

Now, Bukowski and Siamashka are excited to see what the business has to offer for them and the community. 

“We’re going to kind of slowly get known on the island and hopefully gain everybody’s trust and have everybody give us a try,” Bukowski said. “Hopefully we get a nice, loyal customer base and grow from there.”



Carter Weinhofer

Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.

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