Grateful recognition of Zaharakos' restoration • June 2009
Zaharakos honored as Company of the Year. The Business Connection is a publication of The Republic newspaper in Columbus, Indiana.
Zaharakos was honored for 100 years of service to the Columbus community on November 4, 2009. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Lt. Governor Becky Skillman presented the State of Indiana Century Business Award to Mr. Tony Moravec.
News Release • Indiana Economic Development Corporation
Indianapolis (Nov. 4, 2009)
Governor Mitch Daniels honored two Bartholomew County businesses for longevity and community service in the Statehouse today during the annual Governor's Century and Half Century Business Awards. The governor presented Zaharakos Inc. with a Century Award. Lt. Governor Becky Skillman and Mitch Roob, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, joined Daniels in honoring all of the Indiana companies for their commitment to Indiana. "Simply speaking, building a business takes drive, business acumen and sometimes a little luck. Building a successful company which spans decades and generations, however, is a truly special accomplishment. It is my honor to recognize Hoosier entrepreneurs who have left permanent marks on their communities through their homegrown enterprises," said Daniels. The Governor's Century and Half Century Business Awards honor Indiana businesses that have remained in operation for 100 or 50 years or more and have also demonstrated a history of community service. More than 1,300 companies from across Indiana have been recognized during the 19-year history of the Awards. Zaharakos Inc. was founded by three brothers from Greece as a candy store in 1900. The owners continued to innovate, adapt and look for new ways to grow over the years, which enabled the Columbus company to survive two world wars, the Great Depression, and the rise of fast food restaurants and pre-packaged grocery store ice cream. Today the old-fashioned ice cream parlor still features a traditional soda fountain and back bar. Nominated by individuals or organizations within the same community, the Governor's Century and Half Century Awards honor Indiana's well-established companies and their outstanding contributions to the economic growth and prosperity of the state.
The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana presented Tony Moravec with the Southern Indiana Preservation award in recognition for his restoration of a beloved Indiana treasure, Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor in downtown Columbus. Known far and wide for its authentic vintage interior, the institution closed in 2006 after 106 years in operation and the community mourned. Moravec stepped forward to redress the loss. He not only refurbished the interior’s walnut and oak woodwork and onyx soda fountain, he also recreated a nineteenth-century storefront to replace the 1950s façade that didn’t match the authentic interior. He even bought back the 1908 Welte organ that had been sold to a California collector when the place closed. Washington Street was closed for the day and a long line trailed down the block when Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum reopened in June 2009. Moravec accepted the award at Historic Landmarks Foundation’s honors event in Bedford.
The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce presented the 2009 Company of the Year Award to Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum.
Jane Johnson, regent of the Joseph Hart Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, presented a National Historic Preservation Award Thursday, December 15, 2011 to Tony Moravec, owner of Zaharakos.
The Proclamation read by Mayor Fred Armstrong reads: Proclamation to all to whom these presents may come, Greetings: Whereas: after two years of restoration, Columbus businessman Tony Moravec and his team has brought a treasured institution back to life for Columbus residents; and Whereas: returned to its early 1900 elegance, Zaharakos will serve as a magnet for visitors from all over the world; and Whereas: one of the centerpieces of the “new” Zaharakos is the original Welte organ that entertained generations of Columbus families for almost a century; and Whereas: the turn-of-the-century theme is reflected throughout the original building and the annex that was acquired during the restoration to accommodate hundreds of artifacts and memorabilia from the original business and other historic ice cream parlors across the country; and Whereas: most of us here today can certainly identify with Zaharakos during some period in our lives and today, we celebrate the return of this national treasure at the grand re-opening of Zaharakos. Now, therefore, I, Fred L. Armstrong, Mayor of the City of Columbus, Indiana, ask all to join me in welcoming back to downtown Columbus, one of the most spectacular ice cream parlors in America as we celebrate today, June 6, 2009 as Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum Day in the city of Columbus. Let the sodas flow and the music roll. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the city of Columbus to be affixed this 6th day of June 2009. Signed: Fred L. Armstrong Mayor, City of Columbus, Indiana
Zaharakos and the Merrick Printing Co., Inc. were presented with an Award of Excellence by the Printing Industry Association of the South for a 24-page timeline book published in October of 2013. This book documents an abbreviated record into the history and timeline; museum and collections; mechanical music; and preservation at the historic ice cream parlor and museum. Debra Slone, designer; Jill Anderson, production artist, and Rhonda Moravec, copywriter. You can purchase a copy in the country store at Zaharakos.