It Just Might Work: A downtown ice-cream shop


It’s been tried, at least a couple times that I can remember in recent years, and each time the concept has unraveled rather quickly. But I still see no reason that it can’t be done.

Downtown Greensboro needs an ice-cream shop. As in, a place that focuses on ice cream, frozen yogurt and maybe gelato to boot, not just an existing business that offers it as a tertiary option.

A cynic could make arguments about it being a seasonal business that can’t afford the rents year-round based off summer sales alone. Besides the fact that peak summer temperatures are currently reaching into what should be the tail end of the season, I’m confident that if it can be done in downtown Durham, someone could sort it out in the Triad.

The business would likely need to diversify its offerings to give people more reason to come in during colder months, but there are countless dessert dishes to choose from. If a candy store and chocolate factory can make it in downtown Winston-Salem, what’s the excuse for the absence of a similar business in the heart of the Gate City? Crib some of what works elsewhere, do a little market research and execute.

I don’t care much if it’s strictly ice cream or the healthier or Italian variants, or if it’s a new or existing business. Anything from Feeney’s to Gnam Gnam Gelato & Bistro would be welcome. But we’re talking beyond cakes here — the Sweet Shop and Crawford’s Creations do that — and more than Cheesecakes by Alex too, though the dessertery deserves much credit.

Maybe an ice cream bar that also sells booze to keep customers coming. 1618 Downtown has been serving boozy slushies, Wet Willie’s is imminent and I think some people would pay for alcoholic Popsicles. Maybe keep it more kid-friendly with a more retail-oriented space with packaged candy. Maybe there’s frozen custard, or Japanese mochi ice cream or Mexican paletas. I’d pay for those ice cream-esque frozen fruit treats I’ve bought for like a dime in a plastic bag in Central America, but maybe selling coffee and tea would be more financially viable.

Whatever the combination is, I’m convinced it wouldn’t be that hard. And I’m hoping one of you out there with some capital agrees with me.

  • tiresius

    Just because downtown GSO might benefit from a good ice cream (in whatever form) shop, that does not mean it would be a viable economic enterprise. What would be the rent, startup costs, staffing requirements, foot traffic, pricing models, etc.
    Easy for a blogger to opine about something he wants, much harder to deliver a quality, money making idea. Other things GSO might use: Roman style pizza by the slice (high quality). Mobile car wash and detailing while you are at work. Free, evening shuttle bus circulating downtown. Etc.

  • Christine

    Ghassan’s at LeBauer Park serves very popular Homeland Creamery ice cream. Delicious!