It can no longer be said, as it once could, that Dallas has no ice cream, and here's another shop to put that to rest: Called Parlor's Ice Creams, it's a mom-and-pop coming to Lakewood, or more specifically to the buzzy Hillside Village Shopping Center at the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and Abrams Road.
The shop is literally a mom-and-pop, from husband-and-wife Brandon and Kellie Stoll, who are hoping to be open by late April, joining a growing number of ice cream shops that have opened around Dallas in recent years.
We're talking Azucar Ice Cream Company in Bishop Arts, Baldo's Ice Cream in Casa Linda, Ked's Artisan Ice Cream in Frisco, and Miruku Creamery in McKinney, plus chains such as Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and Van Leeuwen's, and that's not even getting into gelato.
Parlor's philosophy is to focus on classic nostalgic ice cream flavors, made from scratch and in-house, using milk, eggs, and cream from Dallas-Fort Worth farms.
The Stolls started the business in October 2019 as a mobile scoop cart, selling pints and scoops at local farmers markets and pop-ups, which they'll continue to do. Hillside Village represents their first brick-and-mortar shop.
"We wanted to have a permanent spot in our own neighborhood where people can find us seven days a week," Kellie says.
The couple both moved to Dallas to attend SMU. After they graduated, they went to work in the corporate/business world, but wanted to do something entrepreneurial together.
"We first thought of doing a restaurant, but we didn't have the background," she says. "We both grew up eating ice cream, and wanted to do what we thought was a better version, with as much local sourcing as possible. Some ice cream companies that deem themselves 'homemade' just buy a big-dairy base and freeze it themselves. We truly make ours from scratch and this is what makes us different. We crack our eggs, we pour milk from local farms."
And when it comes to flavors, they're taking a classic approach.
"In a lot of modern ice cream shops, people have gotten wild on flavors, and we want to bring it back to how it used to be," she says.
So that means that, once they open, they'll definitely be featuring vanilla, chocolate, and cookies & cream among their 14-or-so flavors offered, with almost half of those flavors rotating, plus seasonal options such as strawberries & cream.
"Milk & Cookies is our best seller — it's like chocolate chip cookie dough, but we use pieces of locally baked chocolate chip cookies," Kellie says.
They're probably one of the few start-ups that actually benefited in some way from COVID-19.
"It helped us get the space at Hillside Village, that we were looking for a space during that time," she says.
Launching during that time gave them a chance to build the business and learn some lessons.
"We were originally doing cups, but when we couldn't scoop at the Dallas Farmers Market during the pandemic, we found a different way to get our ice cream to the Dallas community by doing $1 pint deliveries," Kellie says. "It sky-rocketed our business. We'll keep doing pints at the shop as well."
"During COVID-19, we heard from people who said they were refocusing on supporting more local industries, and that's something we have going for us," she says.