Ice cream brunch? Yes.

Here at The Parlour HQ (aka our dining room table, for now) we’ve been talking about having a once-monthly Sunday ice cream brunch. I think we came up with the idea after seeing Molly Moon mention serving oatmeal topped with ice cream at one of their shops. Since we’re curious about whether this is something folks would actually be interested in, here’s a sample menu we’ve been fiddling around with:

 

Slow-cooked steel cut oats topped with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream and housemade preserves

Buttermilk pancakes topped with banana ice cream, pecans, and maple syrup

House granola+your choice of yogurt, non-dairy milk, or a scoop of frozen yogurt

Sourdough cinnamon rolls, seasonal scones and coffee cakes

And, of course, fresh juice, espresso drinks and hand-dripped coffees.

 

So what do y’all think? Would you come out for ice cream brunch? Our seating will be a bit more limited than most restaurants, so we’d probably make the hours longer than most brunch places. And in the summertime there will be plenty of room out in the plaza/in front of the shop. Let us know what you think in the comments (or if you’ve got any menu suggestions), and we’ll pick a random commenter to win a jar of our granola!

Things are happening (and other stuff too.)

Well, we’ve just returned from what is sure to be our last vacation in a looong time. I’m calling it the Mini Ice Cream Tour of the Northeast. We consumed ice cream from Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Capogiro (okay, that was gelato…and we went at least three times), The Franklin Fountain, Arethusa, and the Farmer’s Cow. Most of our ice cream eating was done in Philly, the city we moved from, and the reason we opened an ice cream business. For some reason, there are way more ice cream joints in the northeast than down south. When we moved here, we were stunned (surprised? some other word?) at the lack of ice cream parlours in our new town. So when Yoni decided grad school wasn’t for him, it seemed only natural that we’d fill the ice cream void in Durham. Now that we make ice cream for a living, it’s interesting to go back to the places we used to frequent and see if they’re as good as we remembered (mostly, yes!) Read more

The beet is the most intense of vegetables.

A while back I was strolling through the Durham Farmers’ Market and got gifted a bunch (well, quite a few bunches) of beets from Lil’ Farm. We decided to make a test batch, since we’d heard of other folks making beet ice cream:

We started with a Thomas Keller recipe, and churned it in our home ice cream maker. The first batch was delicious, so we decided to tweak the recipe a bit and make a batch to sell! Our beet ice cream is mostly beet, with just a bit of orange and some vanilla bean paste. We’re not trying to hide the flavor; as Tom Robbins said, “Beets are deadly serious.”

What’s the strangest ice cream flavor you’ve tasted or made? Did you like it? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll pick a random winner to receive a pint of the beet ice cream!

Slow week, busy week…

Hello, ice cream fans!

This is kind of a strange week for us. We’ll be out with the bus a little less than usual, so in that respect it’ll be kind of slow. Besides our regular Rigsbee appearances Wednesday & Sunday, we’ll be at Oval Park on Thursday night and the Farmers Market Saturday morning. If you foresee intense ice cream cravings, please plan accordingly.

Aside from the light scooping schedule, there’s a lot going on this week. For one thing, the final results of this year’s Best of the Triangle survey are being published in the Indy. Notifications went out a few weeks ago, so know that we’re a finalist or winner in the Frozen Dessert category, but until we won’t know which until Wednesday. Either way, we’re thrilled to have made it into the listings, since we weren’t even in business for a year when voting ended! And we’re excited to see the rest of the results after seeing the occasional finalist announcement on the internet here and there.

“Okay,” you’re saying, “but that’s no excuse for the light scooping schedule, is it?” And you’re right, we could just read the results on our phones while selling ice cream, but there’s more. We’re putting the finishing touches on the text and video for that Kickstarter campaign we mentioned, and we’ll be launching it any day now. We’ve also got lots of meetings coming up to compare spaces and work on business planning. 

We’re also taking a little time for friends and family this week! Mr. Parlour’s mom is coming to visit for a few days, and she’s bringing her mom, whom we haven’t seen in years! We obviously have to spend at least a little time with them. And some friends of ours are getting married on Saturday, so we’re taking that evening off to help celebrate. (Of course, that we’re not appearing at the Indy’s Best Of Party that night, but you should still go and check out lots of other Best Of winners and finalists!)

So we hope you’ll let us slide a little for this week’s relative lack of ice cream service. We assure you we’ll be picking up the slack for the rest of June. It’s almost summer, our employees need the hours, and you folks need delicious ice cream! See you out there soon!

One year later…

Happy birthday to us!

Today marks one year since our first day serving ice cream, at the Accent Hardwood parking lot, just north of the Durham Farmers Market:

The Parlour, opening day

We knew back then that we were making terrific ice cream, but we really had no idea if we’d sell any. Okay, we were encouraged by the fact that we had a couple hundred fans on Facebook and Twitter before we even opened, but who could say whether anyone else would find us? Read more

More Shout-outs, More Ice Cream

Our last blog post talked about how honored we are to connect with the local community by participating in nonprofit and charitable events. Of course, The Parlour a for-profit enterprise, and we’re also grateful for the relationships we’ve built with other local businesses.

It would take a lot of posts to discuss every kind of interaction with other businesses, so we’ll just talk about companies that provide a place to park. These companies support us in 2 ways: enabling us to serve to the public, or hiring us directly to cater an event.

Serving to the public

We have to begin with a hearty toast to Motorco and Fullsteam. Our regular appearances at these great Rigsbee Ave. spots have really gotten our name out there. We’ve also made occasional evening and weekend stops at Outsiders Art & Collectibles (where we’ll be this Friday!), Magpie Boutique, the Wells Fargo on Main, and Accent Hardwood.

This season: more daytime hours

In 2011 we didn’t serve much during the workweek. This season, we’ll be joining friends for lunch a few times a month, thanks to some Triangle businesses who graciously host lunch trucks. Here’s the lineup for now:

We love bringing our handmade treats to the folks working hard in the region’s office parks, so we appreciate the companies who’ve invited us out to scoop on their property!

Catering

Triangle businesses also gave us a big boost in our first year by hiring us to come treat their employees on premises. Some of these include the aforementioned Health Decisions and Insomniac Games, as well as Epic Games, SportsMedia Technologies, Panera Bread, iContact.com, and more. Folks seemed thrilled to have us out, and we’re looking forward to making some return visits this year!

Making more connections

We plan to add some more regular daytime appearances this year, so we’d like to hear about it if your company’s a good spot to be seen. And we always welcome the opportunity to provide the treats at catered events. Could your workplace use more great handmade ice cream? Get in touch!