Alex and Liz Hannah used to live beside this little ice cream shop in Denver, Colo. It was the hub of their neighborhood — where they met friends and went before (and after) a night out.
When the North Carolina natives moved to Charlotte about two years ago, they realized they couldn’t find the same thing in Charlotte. So they decided to open a shop themselves, a few blocks away from their South End apartment.
The couple hopes to open Golden Cow Creamery by mid-May at the corner of Church and Summit, inside a little storefront in the District Flats building in the Gold District (thus the name).
“No one else was doing it and we saw a need in Charlotte and wanted to add something cool to the community,” Alex said.
But there’s already ice cream in Charlotte. What sets Golden Cow apart?
“We’re making ice cream by hand, every day or every couple of days depending on the season,” Alex said. “It’s going to be fresh cream, milk, eggs, sugar and nothing coming from a bag. No fillers, no preservatives, no artificial food coloring, nothing like that.”
What to expect:
– 8-10 flavors offered any given day.
– Around $4 for a scoop and a cone.
– Flavors like pineapple habanero, ginger peach and mocha chip (Alex’s favorites so far). One flavor that didn’t work: Sriracha.
– Indoor and outdoor seating.
– A pint club, where you get a unique pint of ice cream each month.
– Just serving ice cream, milkshakes and some floats for now. A vegan option — coconut ice cream — will be offered.
– Every month, Golden Cow wants to partner with a local charity, something it’s calling Queens Share. A portion of monthly profits will go to the charity, and Golden Cow will spread their message in the store and on social media.
Alex compared Golden Cow to a brewery. He wants to experiment with flavors and make things people have never tried — craft ice cream. There will always be a chocolate and vanilla flavor, but it might not be the same kind of chocolate or vanilla you had the week before.
Golden Cow even recently worked with NoDa Brewing to create a Hop, Drop ‘N’ Roll ice cream. Alex, who makes most of the ice cream, said he hopes to do more of that with other breweries (Wooden Robot reached out) and restaurants.
Alex, 30, and Liz, 29, grew up in Cary, met in middle school, have been together since high school and got married five years ago. They studied accounting at Appalachian State before moving to Colorado. Alex works at Red Ventures and Liz at Deloitte. They both plan to keep their jobs and work at the shop evenings and weekends.
The couple hasn’t taken out any loans and is instead financing the business with savings and a Kickstarter, which will help fund construction and the initial food cost before the store opens.
“We’re going to open probably a lot bigger than we thought, which is great but we also have to make probably five times the ice cream that we’d planned to with our budget, so we have to front load all of that cost to be able to sell it,” Alex said.
Before deciding to open the business, they just “dabbled” in creating homemade ice cream. Now?
“Since deciding to go down this path, we’ve made a lot of ice cream,” Alex said. “We’re giving ice cream to a lot of our friends.”
Photos: Courtesy of Golden Cow Creamery.