Memorial Day has come and gone, meaning summer has arrived in Salt Lake City. Of course, with summer comes an abundance of ice cream. That’s why every Friday in June we’ll be sharing a new location to find frozen treats. First up is Howdy Homemade, a special ice cream shop on the outskirts of Sugar House.
Heidi and Chris Nielsen came across the original Howdy Homemade, an ice cream shop established to provide employment for special needs individuals, in Dallas, Texas. Wanting to create a similar opportunity for their son, the couple secured branding rights in Utah and learned the ropes from the Howdy team. They opened shop on Labor Day last year, hiring twelve special needs employees to start.
The menu is simple. You can order scoops in a cup or cone. No shakes, sundaes, or other frills are available, nor are they missed. The shop’s 24 flavors consist of classic favorites and unique concoctions. Popular with kids, the Cookie Monster is blue cookies and cream served with edible eyes. The Dr. Pepper Chocolate Chip pays homage to the original Dallas location, while the Chocolate Cinnamon Bear is uniquely Utahn.
It may be difficult to choose, but Howdy encourages customers to sample every flavor to make sure you get one you love. Still can’t decide? Ask one of the scoopers, who are at the ready to share their personal favorite. When I visited, I discovered Patrick is partial to the Dr. Pepper and Amy Jo especially enjoys Chocolate Peanut Butter.
The flavors don’t change often, though you’ll occasionally find a holiday special flavor. The Nielsen family has found if they change up a flavor, they undoubtedly receive complaints of losing a customer favorite.
Each flavor is made in-house, with the exception of two sorbets made locally at Amour Café. They use local ingredients whenever possible, including Publik for the Coffee Chip. Many flavors got their names from loyal customers and employees.
For those wanting ice cream to take home, you can buy hand-packed pints of the most popular flavors. Howdy also recently started offering ice cream cakes, using cake from Granite Bakery. The design may be pretty basic, but the taste is sure to impress.
Howdy received the Best of State award for Best Ice Cream and was recognized by the Gardener Policy Institute as an Informed Decision Maker. The combination of good ice cream and a great atmosphere creates a neighborhood feel reminiscent of ice cream shops of old. Some may remember a similar atmosphere from Duffin’s Ice cream in the heart of Sugar House, which was owned by Heidi’s grandfather.
Whether you come for the ice cream or the people, you’ll likely stay for both.
- Howdy Homemade
- Monday-Saturday 12:00-9:00
- 2670 S. 2000 E., SLC
Sweet Endings is a recurring feature showcasing new and innovative sweet treats as well as some of Salt Lake City’s staple desserts written and photographed each week by Derek Deitsch. If you have any sweet tips, let him know! @derekdeitsch