Howdy Homemade isn’t just an ice cream parlor, it’s a revolution. Owner Tom Landis, a Lake Highlands resident, opened the shop late last year, because he wanted to create more jobs for people with special needs. Most of the individuals he employs have Down syndrome. “We want to play on our employees’ strengths,” Landis says. “They might not be the fastest, but, man, what they can do is be super friendly.” Friendliness is prioritized above all else at Howdy Homemade. Workers are encouraged to offer guests heaping samples of their favorite flavors — Dr. Pepper chocolate chip, Hot Tamale, cheesecake and avocado-lime. Kalin O’Brien, one of Landis’ first hires, says he is partial to Andes mint. He goes on to share that he was recently given a key to the store and has ambitions of opening his own business. Landis says he has “no doubt” that O’Brien will succeed. He’s similarly supportive of all his employees, partially because they’ve given him a sense of place. “I’m a total outsider,” Landis explains. “I don’t fit in anywhere except here. I fit in with these guys.”
Ambiance: Happy and relaxed
Price Range: $2-$5
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday–Thursday
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday
2 p.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Did you know:
Tom Landis says roughly 30 people have already contacted him about franchising Howdy Homemade. Be on the lookout for more stores soon.