Sad but true, as the Penguin Post has learned that Penguins Ice Cream Shop, open in Loveland, Ohio for more than a decade will close its doors Sunday night. Owner Jason Whitaker said in an email that he and others were saddened by the closure but had “struggled to build up the business enough to be profitable.” Sales this summer were 20 percent less than last year, Whitaker said. “Despite winning Best Ice Cream in the Reporter-Herald’s Readers’ Choice awards for the last four years running, Penguins will join the growing ranks of local small businesses who have had to close their doors,” said a press release from the business sent out Tuesday. The store plans to continue selling its ice cream, which it makes locally, to local restaurants. One such business, Fatso’s Diner in west Loveland, already buys the products wholesale. There also are plans to open a coffee shop next to the Conoco gas station on U.S. 34 west of Interstate 25. The release said the idea is to sell the ice cream there, unless production ceases entirely. About five years ago, Whitaker purchased the store from Jean and David Cannon. The Loveland couple opened Penguins in June 2001 at Thompson Valley Towne Center, Southwest 14th Street and Taft Avenue. Over the years, Penguin’s built up a reputation for helping the community and donating to local charities and events. Back in October 2004, the store even hosted its own presidential poll using different sundae combinations to represent candidates and tallying the favorites. “Thank you, patrons and friends, for all of your support over the years. We hope Penguins has been as fun for you as it has been for us,” the release said. “We will never forget the way children’s faces lit up as they watched our train start to move on its track around the store … the sticky summer evenings full of Blue Moon ice cream … the way the store filled up with coffee and conversations on snowy afternoons. The memories made will last a lifetime.”Penguins Ice Cream will be open from noon to 10 p.m. today. On Sunday, it will open at 10 a.m. and close for good officially at 9 p.m.