An acclaimed ice cream concept from the Northeast is coming to Texas, and hooray for that because DFW is in desperate need. Called Handel's Ice Cream, the chain will open two locations in the DFW area, including one in Little Elm and another in Plano.
A spokesperson for the chain confirms that the two locations are on the way, with Little Elm opening first, possibly by early November.
With the full name Handel's Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt, it was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Ohio. They currently have 48 stores, both corporate and franchise, in nine states, mostly in the Northeast but also in California, Oregon, and Nevada.
The chain began when founder Alice Handel began serving ice cream out of her husband's gas station in Youngstown, Ohio. Her first batches were made using fruit she picked from her own backyard.
Since then, the menu has expanded to include more than 150 flavors of ice cream and yogurt, although shops don't have that many flavors at one time, and it's up to the discretion of the individual shop how many flavors they want to feature.
Handel's is known for good-quantity ingredients and for making their ice cream daily, starting with a base made by Handel's corporate that's shipped to the store.
They do ice cream, banana splits, and sundaes; milkshakes and malted milkshakes; smoothies; ice cream sandwiches, cakes, and pies; chocolate-covered ice cream bars; and "hurricanes" - soft-serve vanilla with candy bars mixed in.
They also have a wide variety of flavors including cherry vanilla, black cherry (with whole black cherries), blueberry cheesecake chunk, banana pudding, banana (with fresh bananas), black walnut, praline pecan, and mint chip.
There are Northeast-style flavors such as peppermint stick, black raspberry truffle, and orange pineapple, and eight different vanilla options including vanilla, vanilla raspberry chip, and vanilla with lemon Oreos.
There are seasonal flavors such as egg nog and pumpkin with marshmallow ripple, and offbeat flavors such as grape ice cream and "pizelle," based on the flat stamped cookies, flavored with anise.
While some of the locations are walk-up only, the two in Texas will include a sit-down ice cream parlor, with a party room for birthday parties and team events.
The Little Elm store will open first at 2705 Little Elm Pkwy., in a center called the Little Elm Marketplace, in a space that used to be a medical office.
The Plano store is at 4200 Legacy Dr., in a space that was most recently home to Buffalo Bluez, a burger restaurant that closed in 2018, but used to be a Jack in the Box.