With your support, Durham’s own handmade ice cream bus will be expanding into a brick-and-mortar location! Read more
This project was successfully funded on July 5, 2012.
About this project
We’re having a great time running our mobile ice cream parlour, but we’re ready to move on up into our own brick-and-mortar storefront so we can bring you even more great ice cream. To do that, we’re going to need to equip a whole new kitchen.
The Story So Far...
There’s a joke in here about a neuroscientist and a baker walking into a bar...
Yoni and Vanessa (hereafter known as Mr. and Mrs. Parlour) moved to Durham from Philadelphia in 2008, when Mr. Parlour got into a PhD program for cognitive neuroscience. Mrs. Parlour, a trained baker, missed all the ice cream and gelato in Philadelphia, a renowned ice cream town, and started making her own at home.
Durham and the Triangle have a great food scene and lots of awesome small community-minded businesses, but it’s missing that fantastic local ice cream shop. By the time we decided in 2011 that Mrs. Parlour was better at ice cream than Mr. Parlour was at science, we’d grown attached. We wanted to stay in Durham and make that shop happen, but we realized that to open by that summer we’d have to do it on wheels. As luck would have it, we were in just about the perfect time and place for launching a food truck.
So for the last year, we’ve been handcrafting ice cream at The Cookery, Durham’s culinary incubator, and taking it to the streets in our mini school bus. We use the best ingredients we can find to make our delicious ice creams, vegan flavors, and sorbets.
We’ve also made connections with other local businesses. Our ice cream has used Joe Van Gogh espresso beans, bourbon-barrel aged stout from Fullsteam, and cake from Crumb. We source all our berries locally and make our fruit flavors by season. We’ve been serving at several local institutions regularly along with many other trucks and participated in cool community events.
And the support has been incredible. We’ve been written up in local and national media, met lots of great folks who love our ice cream, and—thanks to y’all—became finalists in the Indy’s Best of the Triangle survey!
So, why a store?
Because you asked for it! We’ve sold more ice cream this spring than we did last summer. It looks like the demand is continuing to go up. Almost any night of the week that we’re not out selling ice cream, someone on the internet asks where we are.
We love The Cookery and are thrilled to be members, but to really meet demand, we need more access and space than a shared kitchen can provide. A store will let us have regular, longer hours and a predictable location. If you always know when and where to find us, you’ll never have to run after the bus crying as we drive away from Motorco!
The other big advantage of our own location is that we can make the menu bigger! We love coming up with sundaes, incorporating our own baked goods, and offering lots of flavors and toppings. There’s only so much room for all that stuff on the bus, but with more space, we can provide more variety.
We’re in the process of searching for a space in downtown Durham. We’ve got fans all over the Triangle, but Durham’s been especially good to us, and we’re eager to be a part of all the cool new activity that’s springing up downtown.
What the money’s for
The Cookery’s awesome for letting entrepreneurs try their hand at running a food business without buying tons of equipment. The only big machines we’ve had to spring for so far were our batch freezer (the fancy industry lingo for “ice cream maker”) and the stuff on the bus. But now that means we’ll need to buy a bunch more, including:
- Storage and serving freezers
- A mixer
- An oven and range
- Sinks and dishwashers
Kickstarting our kitchen will go a long way toward meeting the costs of opening, along with our personal savings and this season’s profits from the bus. Since additional renovation costs will vary depending on the space, we may still need to borrow from a bank or private lenders. We’ve run the numbers and are sure we can make The Parlour work in any of several downtown locations. Your support will help bring that confidence to lenders and landlords when they see how many people plan to keep us in business!
We’re truly thrilled with all the support we’ve gotten around here as we’ve learned to make a business out of our love for ice cream. We’re looking forward to bringing you more new treats and old favorites as we expand. We hope you’ll consider contributing to our campaign to get some great rewards and be a part of another Durham success story!
Shipping ice cream is incredibly expensive. We can’t cover the shipping costs at these reward levels. If you’re out of town and really really want ice cream shipped, we’ll get some price quotes so you can pay the shipping on top of your pledge.
We’ll also be adding alternate rewards for non-locals at some of the pledge levels before the campaign ends. You will be able to change your reward choice when the new ones show up!
We don’t know; did we?
There’s so much other cool stuff in Durham, so you know you’ll make it out here now and then! When you come for some theatre at DPAC, a show at Pinhook or Motorco, a beer at Fullsteam, or a nice meal at one of our many fine restaurants, wouldn’t you like to include a trip to your favorite ice cream shop?
Nope! We will definitely be cutting down the bus’s hours at first, but we plan to keep coming out for fun outdoor events events like Marry Durham, the Beaver Queen Pageant, the DCP food truck rodeos, and others. And of course, we’ll still be available for catering private events like office parties, retreats, and weddings! (You knew we do catering, right?)
Pledge $5 or more
A thank you on our website and a sticker designed by Jaime Van Wart!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
A double scoop with one topping, plus a sticker! No need to wait until the shop is open: you can get your scoop from us at the bus!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
A double scoop with one topping, a sticker, and a hand-packed pint of your choice! Also available at the bus!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $40 or more
Everything at the $25 level, plus a mini ice cream cookzine made by Mrs. Parlour! Enough recipes to get you started making ice cream at home.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or more
A limited-edition T-shirt for backers only (featuring a map to the store) and a pint of a special Kickstarter flavor! And a sticker! And more exclamation points!
(Sticker and pint will be available when the campaign is over, but the T-shirt availability depends on when we sign a lease.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or more
A sticker, and a one-year membership to our Sundae of the Month Club!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or more
The Parlour's cool new T-shirt (designed by Jaime Van Wart), and a one-year membership to our Pint of the Month Club!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or more
For the out-of-town folks: since shipping pints for a Pint of the Month Club membership would be too costly, we're offering a six-month membership to our Cookie of the Month Club! Each month we'll ship you a dozen cookies, made in-house by Mrs. Parlour.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $222 or more
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
A pint of your choice, a T-shirt, a sticker, and a pair of complementary logo aprons (pink-on-brown and brown-on-pink) handmade in Durham by Seam Happy! We will ship to out-of-towners, but we’ll substitute some cookies for the pint unless you’re willing to cover the (shockingly high) cost of overnighting ice cream!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $333 or more
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
Photoshoot! You’ll get everything at the $40 level, plus a studio portrait session with photographer Brandon Hoe. Check out his work at his personal site [http://www.brandonhoe.com] and his company ClearSketch [http://www.clearsketch.com]. Please note: if you select this reward, you must be able to come to Brandon’s downtown Durham studio on a weekend. We will put you in touch with him to work out details at the end of the campaign.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $345 or more
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
Remember when you could get a double-dip ice cream cone for one shiny nickel? We don’t! But you can get The Parlour’s original price list sign that was mounted to the side of the bus (way too far from the serving window for most people to notice it). If you hold on to it for enough decades, you too can marvel at how cheap ice cream used to be, back in the aughts. Plus everything at the $40 level. PLEASE NOTE: the sign is big, at 42×52 inches, and partially made of aluminum. We’ll deliver it locally (subject to the whims of our work schedule), but if you want it shipped, you’ll need to cover the cost.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $500 or more
A home ice cream making class for up to 10 people, taught in your home by Mrs. Parlour. Who will also bear hug you.
And a sticker. And a pony*.
*Just kidding, no pony.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $750 or more
3 backers All gone!
Your own flavor! You decide what flavor you'd like us to make, and we make a batch AND name it after you! You get two pints of your signature flavor, a sticker, a t-shirt, and a one-year Pint of the Month Club membership!
(Subject to final approval by owners. NO BACON.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or more
A catered ice cream party with the bus at the location of your choice (within the Triangle (yes, we’re talking to you, Daphne)), for you and 20 friends. And a sticker for everyone at the party! And more exclamation points!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,999 or more
Not one, but TWO ice cream parties for up to 25 people! We bring the first to you this summer/fall, using the bus. The second one will be at the store after we open. Plus stickers for everyone, AND a 2-year Pint of the Month Club membership. Optional bear hugs.Estimated delivery:
- (29 days)