New Menu Items!

Hey everyone,

We’re going to try something new this week, so don’t be surprised if the online shop looks a bit different. We’re taking the half pints off the menu and switching to single and double scoops to go instead. This means you can get one or two scoops in a cup to go, with toppings! (Yep, we’ve got lids too, don’t you worry.) We’ll have a slightly smaller variety of pint flavors in favor of having more options for scooped-to-order ice cream. We’ll also have two varieties of vegan soft serve and some vegan toppings. And we’ll have three types of ice cream sandwiches: strawberry ice cream with white chocolate-funfetti cookies, vanilla ice cream with fudge and malted milk chocolate chip cookies, and milk chocolate ice cream with candied hazelnuts and chocolate-hazelnut cookies.

Keep in mind that there are still just two of us working in the shop, so please be patient with us while we try this experiment out! See you Wednesday!

Phase Two Update

As I’m sure some of you have heard by now, Durham will be allowing restaurants to reopen at 50% capacity starting on June 1st. Unfortunately for some businesses, operating at 50% capacity is nearly impossible both physically and financially.  I’m sure many of you have been in our shop when the line was wrapping around our customer seating area, and you’ve probably also seen the extremely tight quarters of our scoop counter area where staff are working. For us, the long customer lines and employees working shoulder-to-shoulder isn’t something we can easily change, and we still consider it a risk to public health.

We are definitely thinking about ways to make reopening feasible and safe for our staff and our community. For now, we will continue to be takeout-only, the way we’ve been doing it for the last few weeks. At the same time that we’re running the takeout operation, we’re thinking and planning on how to reopen to customers safely, and how to have more staff in here safely. It’ll take us some time and effort to figure it out, all while trying to keep our business afloat. There are just two of us working in the shop at the moment, so please be patient with us as we work on new ways to operate our business and move forward. We appreciate everyone who has supported us by buying ice cream, gift cards, and our recipe e-book. We’re looking forward to seeing you in person again, whenever that may be—and in the meantime, we will have some special surprises on the menu for Mrs. Parlour’s 40th birthday this weekend!

Update and tentative new hours

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all staying safe and healthy.

Starting Wednesday April 29th, we will be reopening with a new contactless pickup system. Our tentative hours will be Wednesday-Saturday, 2-7 p.m. Here’s how it’ll work:

You’ll be able to place your order and pay on our online shop. When you arrive at the shop to pick up your order, you’ll wait at the designated waiting area (by the sandwich board!) and call our shop number at (919) 564-7999 to let us know the name on your order. We’ll place your order on the table outside, and once we’re back inside, you can pick up your order and go!

We just made a few new flavors (including my favorite, STRAWBERRY!!) and we’ll have ice cream sandwiches on the menu for our return to takeout. If things go well, we plan to add milkshakes too. Let us know if there’s anything you really miss, and we’ll see what we can do!

 

It’s our anniversary!

Hey everyone,

It’s our shop’s birthday today! Normally, we’d be rolling out the limited-batch of birthday cake ice cream and posting celebratory photos, but this year has proved to be very different in a lot of ways.

When we opened our doors 7 years ago today, we weren’t thinking about what would happen if we had to close our doors for an indefinite period of time. We were thinking about how great it’d be to serve our community, bring people together, and create jobs. Now we find ourselves in a very strange position. Our doors are closed, our staff is laid off, and we have no idea when we’ll be able to reopen to the public. We’re still thinking about when we can reopen for takeout, but for the time being we feel it’s best to remain closed, to encourage people to stay at home and help stop the spread of this virus.

For our birthday this year, we’ve created a Gofundme campaign for our former staff. We’ve been very lucky to have found people who can handle the busyness, the long lines, and the scooping-induced tennis elbow that the job entails, and we hope to hire each and every one of them back just as soon as we can reopen. If you’ve appreciated our staff’s work and you have the means, please consider contributing to our fundraiser (more details on our campaign page.)

We hope everyone out there is staying safe and healthy. Let us know in the comments if you think we should start doing some facebook live ice cream making videos!

 

 

 

e-book available for purchase!

Hey, friends. We’ve been working on this e-book pretty much since the day we closed, and we’ve finally finished testing recipes and turned it into something sellable. It’s a really simplistic design and there aren’t a bunch of beautiful photos, but we promise we personally tested every recipe to work in a home kitchen. And the recipes are what really matter, right?

Every recipe in this book is one we’ve used at our shop. There aren’t a ton of recipes, since we may want to release a Part Two at some point, but there is definitely enough to get you started! There’s a little bit of everything: ice cream, vegan ice cream, toppings, vegan and non-vegan baked goods. The e-book contains 20 recipes, with variations to make 22 recipes. We hope that making our goods at home can bring you a little bit of joy during this tough time. And we really, really miss seeing all your faces!

Side note: we might start doing some at-home facebook live/ig live cooking videos while we’re still closed. We’ll update accordingly!

COVID-19, The Parlour, and You

UPDATE AS OF MARCH 17:

After a lot of thought and consideration, we’ve decided to suspend all service (including takeout and pickup orders) for now. You can still purchase e-gift cards for use when our shop reopens.

Hi friends. We know everyone is concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in North Carolina and the Triangle.  We are taking this very seriously—as we believe everyone should. Here are some of the things we want you to know.

We are taking extra precautions

When we train new staff, we always stress the importance of frequent hand washing. Now our staff are sanitizing surfaces and washing their hands more often. We’re also sanitizing more surfaces, like doorknobs. Staff will wash hands or change gloves anytime there is incidental hand contact with a customer. There is a hand sanitizer station for customers right by exit door (north of the main door) and we will have a pump bottle available near the register whenever possible.

We are sometimes a crowded space

Of course, beyond extra sanitary measures, the biggest recommendation from public health experts is to avoid crowded public spaces, especially if you are sick or in a high-risk population. Because of our physical layout and ordering/service systems, it is hard for us to exert much control over crowds. We need your help with this!

What can you do?

Look, we almost never want to turn away business. But we want to defer to experts, and we think you should stay at home if 

  • you’re feeling at all unwell physically
  • you’re in a high-risk population
  • you’ve been asked to self-quarantine due to possible exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case

Of course, even if you’re healthy and surrounded by low-risk people, the whole community is safer when public spaces are less crowded. If you do come in, you can help make that happen:

  • Maintain a few feet of distance from other people
  • Minimize hand contact with employees and other customers
  • Enjoy your ice cream outside (at the time of this writing, the weather is lovely)
  • Buy some pints (also available at Bulldega and Durham Coop Market) so you can wait longer for your next ice cream outing.

Also! If you’d like to leave a tip on a credit card purchase, ask the employee ringing you up to enter it, so there are fewer people touching the iPad. 

We are prepared for a downturn

This is the time of year when business usually starts picking up for us. But we don’t want anyone to feel guilty about practicing social isolation for the sake of community safety. If you’ve made that decision, we respect and appreciate you. We will not be upset about slower sales if it helps flatten the curve.

What about our staff?

You may be justifiably concerned about service industry employees. We just came out of our slow season, so we’re not yet at peak staffing levels. We also have savings and are making plans to take care of our staff if a downturn is serious. Most employees already have some paid time off hours available. If sales take a drastic hit, we will increase PTO balances so that folks working less can choose to pad their checks. In the event that we have to temporarily close up shop, we will still be able to pay current staff for several weeks.

You can help out while avoiding crowds

Before we go, a few more tips on helping local small businesses (not just us!) weather some tough times. 

  • Avoid crowds by going to your favorite spots during their non-peak hours. In our case, that’s typically noon–2:00 and 5:00–6:30 on weekdays. You can use Google maps to see when other businesses are least crowded. 
  • To help employers, buy gift cards now—then plan on waiting several months to use them:
  • To help employees directly, leave bigger tips than you normally do

Thanks for reading this! We appreciate you.

Don’t hesitate to contact us via email or social media if you have any questions. We will post updates to our site and social media if needed.