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?

Fortunately, the Triangle is full of folks who are always keeping an eye out for great food and telling their friends when they find it. Without spending a cent on advertising or press releases, we started getting requests for catering and public events and got written up in the News and Observer, Carpe Durham, Independent Weekly, and Southern Living.

Being in a bus helped, too. The food truck phenomenon that’s sweeping the country is especially big around here, and we quickly got exposure pairing up with popular trucks in popular spots.

A year later, we have a couple thousand Facebook Likes and Twitter followers. We’ve made connections with lots of awesome local business owners. And we recently found out that your support has made us a finalist in the ice cream category of the Indy’s 2012 Best of the Triangle.Best of Star 2012
So for our birthday we want to say a giant thanks to all the friends, family, customers, and other businesses that have made this possible. We won’t try to name names—there are too many awesome folks out there!

So what’s next?

Summer’s approaching, so of course, we’re going to make more awesome ice cream and bring it to you! We’ve hired an employee in the kitchen and two on the bus to help keep up with demand.

We also got a wholesale license, which lets us sell lime sorbet to Motorco for their/our Cold N’ Stormy cocktail, and ice cream sandwiches to Bean Traders on 9th. With a small staff, busy serving schedule, and shared kitchen, we’re not trying to expand our wholesale operations too fast. Still, we want to hear from other businesses who might be interested in serving our ice cream, especially folks who want to collaborate on custom flavors like Motorco’s.


…new customers are always asking where our store is. Returning customers are always asking why we don’t have one yet. So we wanted to tell you we’re working on it.

For pretty much any space, there’s lots of equipment and renovations to pay for. We’ll to need to raise more funds than this summer’s ice cream profits, so we’re finishing up a business plan to show to lenders. And like DaisyCakes and Cocoa Cinnamon, other businesses that went from mobile to brick-and-mortar, we’ll soon be launching a Kickstarter campaign to help offset some of those loans.

As for where: we’re looking in downtown Durham (which does include that whole Rigsbee/Geer/Foster corridor that treats us so well). Yes, we have fans all over the Triangle, and maybe other parts of Durham have cheaper rent and great traffic. But the downtown scene has been so good to us, and we want to help it get better. Durham’s support this past year shows us that we can make it work. We have some options in mind, but if you have any tips on appropriate buildings, don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to seeing y’all soon.

Thanks again, and happy birthday!

The Parlour

7 replies
  1. Daphne says:

    Guys, I can’t even tell you how proud it makes me feel to read all of this. I tell everyone who will listen for a second about my family’s ice cream business, especially folks in or planning to visit the area. I can’t wait to have an opportunity to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign and watch your business grow even further. (And even more I can’t wait to see you guys next month and *finally* eat some salted butter caramel!)

  2. the pushers says:

    dudes, we are SO proud of you too! it has been an honor to pair up alongside you guys SO often!! and pizza and YOUR ice cream … perfect combo! so HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! and here is to wholesale + retail + MANY more years!!

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