El Paso, Texas-- A new ice cream shop in Downtown El Paso is hoping to create more jobs for people with intellectual and developmental differences using the power of smiles and delicious ice cream!
Howdy’s Homemade Ice Cream stands on the corner of Oregon and Missouri Ave. in Downtown El Paso. The new ice cream shop is hoping to remind us all that we’re all more alike than different.
“I love Howdy’s,” said Evan George Vourazeris, an employee at Howdy’s Ice Cream. “It's like a dream come true because I've been wanting to work with howdys for a long time.”
If you’ve ever watched the Netflix series Ozark then you may already know who Evan George Vourazeris is. Evan plays “Tuck” in the hit Netflix series Ozark, but when he’s not staring in hit tv shows he is serving some delicious ice cream at El Paso’s very first Howdy’s homemade ice cream shop.
“Whenever customers come in we have a smile on our face, we get energized, and we get pumped because customers wanna see that,” said Evan.
Howdy’s homemade ice cream was started back in 2015 in Dallas Texas by Tom Landis who wanted to give people with disabilities the opportunity to be employed and to show off their abilities.
“The El Paso Community Foundation got wind of it they became very interested and said we need to do this for El Paso so we brought it to El Paso,” said Adam Tirres, Program Officer for the El Paso Community Foundation.
Howdy’s Homemade Ice Cream recently held their grand opening celebration for the first El Paso location in downtown El Paso’s Artspace Lofts.
“People with development disabilities are highly under employed,” said Tirres. "82% of people with developmental disabilities do not have a paying job so we want to fill that void and offer employment and a paycheck, but more than that we want to give them an opportunity to socialize with each other and with customers.”
Employees at Howdy’s not only receive a good paycheck for their day-to-day duties, they also learn important everyday skills.
“They're working the register so of course they're practicing math. Our heroes also do everything in the factory which is about 100 feet up the street so they make the ice cream,” said Tirres. “They are also learning the ABC’s of working in a kitchen and keeping everything clean.”
For Tirres and his staff, the main purpose of Howdy’s isn’t just to provide locals with delicious ice cream.
“We want to serve as a model to other employers as well that you can successfully run a business that is primarily ran with people with disabilities,” said Tirres.
And for Evan and his fellow co-worker, this new and exciting job gives them the opportunity to remind others that the job he and his co-workers do is about more than just serving delicious ice cream.
“We have a brain, we have a mouth, and we have a heart,” said Evan. "We use our brain for the customer, we use our words by showing love, and we also use our heart to encourage them to come back.”
Howdy’s Homemade Ice Cream is located inside of the Artspace El Paso Lofts at 601 N. Oregan.
The ice cream shop is open to customers Monday- Thursday 12 pm - 8 pm and Friday - Saturday 12 pm - 9 pm.
Howdy’s offers various flavors of ice cream as well as merchandise including t-shirts and hats.
If you would like more information on Howdy’s franchise, Click Here.