Community Relations

Providing Special Needs Jobs and Delicious Ice Cream Howdy Homemade Ice Cream Finds a Home in Utah

You’ll come for the ice cream and stay for the people—Howdy’s outstanding employees.


Some of the staff at Howdy Homemade Ice Cream holding Cookie Monster ice cream cones. Photo by Mike Jones.

Nothing speaks more to Utah’s local foodie community than a genuine mission statement and amazing ice cream. Because of Utah’s obsession with ice cream and charitable lifestyle, Howdy Homemade Ice Cream (Howdy) has found the perfect home. Tucked away in the neighborhoods of Sugar House, Howdy isn’t the typical ice cream shop that we ice cream lovers come across every day.

Originating in Dallas, Texas, Howdy caught the attention of the Nielsons, a Utah-native family that wanted to make a difference in their community. They knew Howdy wasn’t simply another ice cream shop, but a company that stood for something much more.

“You’ll come for the ice cream and stay for the people,” Tom, the original owner, says. What does he mean by ‘for the people’? He’s referring to the outstanding employees. “We’re a homemade ice cream shop that empowers heroes with special needs to succeed!”

Wanting to provide their special needs son with new opportunities, the Nielson family had a passion for this goal, and excitedly brought the partnership to the Salt Lake Valley.

The family-owned and operated ice cream shop has appealed immensely to locals as a result of their worthwhile mission and tasty treat. Why? People today are looking to spend their money on something more than just a product.

“This is what sets us apart. We don’t look to compete with big ice cream franchises; we simply want to make great ice cream. But more importantly, we want to change the public’s mindset about individuals with special needs. We want to create awareness and comfort toward these individuals and provide jobs for those who haven’t had the opportunity to receive one,” says Howdy manager, Wil Nielson.

They described each employee with such depth, gratitude, and love, and talked about how much each individual had to offer. “Their passion for work is strong—they want to be here and work hard. We want people to focus on what they can do, rather than their limitations,” Nielson says.

Local businesses such as Publik Coffee and Hubbard Farm, have also shown their support by providing products and services to help with Howdy’s goal. “Many companies have wanted to help and be part of what we’re doing here,” says manager Courtney Kirk. “We love collaborating with the local community and feel very lucky.”

With the many offers they receive to collaborate, it’s obvious that Utahns truly do value businesses with a genuine cause.

From the happy, smiling employees to the vast array of unique, delectable flavors like Dr. Pepper Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Cinnamon Bear, or Hot Tamale, there is more than one reason why. “It’s hard not to feel good when you go to Howdy Homemade.”

Howdy Homemade Ice Cream is located at 2670 S 2000 E, Salt Lake City

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