Results in: Andia Homemade Ice Cream Wins The News & Observer’s Triangular Ice Cream Category.
The family-owned, local ice cream shop with two stores in Cary beat Maple View Ice Cream in Hillsboro and FRESH Local Ice Cream, with locations in Raleigh, Cary and Apex, as runners-up in the TC vote. It also knocked out familiar favorites like Two Roosters, Howling Cow Creamery and Goodberry’s earlier in the bracket.
“I am very honored,” said co-founder Andia Xouris. “That tells me that Raleigh really likes Andia, and that’s a great honor.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the Triangle’s favorite ice cream parlor.
Roses, pistachio and baklava
Known for their monster Instagram shakes (think: mason jars filled with scoops of buttercream and overflowing with toppings, sauces, and sometimes whole donuts or slices of cake), Andia’s is definitely on trend with its ice cream offerings. It serves flights, ice cream brûlées and other decadent seasonal dishes just waiting to be eaten and photographed for social media.
However, Andia is grounded in family history and the guiding values of community and “parea,” which is Greek for good company and friendship.
Growing up in Cyprus, Greece, Andia Xouris grew up on pink ice cream and was imbued with the idea of ”parea”. It’s a tradition that underpins Andia’s philosophy today, and a tradition that her husband and co-founder, George Xouris, also grew up with in his traditional Greek family.
The chronology laid out on the walls of both stores begins in 1920, the year George’s grandfather immigrated from Greece and then started working in an ice cream parlor in Astoria, New York. A family heirloom ice cream scoop, passed down from Grandpa George, hangs in a frame.
Sixty years later, Andia immigrated with her parents. Andia’s father built his own food distribution business from scratch and passed on his entrepreneurial spirit to his daughter.
The first taste on the menu is baklava, a tribute to the family’s Greek heritage. Pistachio Rose, Andia’s favorite flavor, pays homage to her childhood ice cream. The store recently launched an extra virgin olive oil flavor alongside menu staples like peanut butter fudge and cake batter.
And the store’s goal is to set itself apart from the super-premium homemade ice cream and guest experience based on the tradition of family and friends gathering around food. The store’s motto is “Drawn with love.”
“It’s what we feel as human beings,” Andia said. “I want to always have such a cozy store. I never want a cold environment. I want people to know that they are welcome here.”
Founding of Andia’s
Andia and George have long wanted to break into the ice cream business.
Before moving to North Carolina, which boasts better ice cream weather and lower costs for starting a small business, the family lived in New Jersey, where they regularly visited an ice cream shop after sports games.
Andia sat with her family on the back of a truck parked outside the store, holding dripping ice cream cones, and she saw the power of ice cream to bring happiness and bring people together.
After taking many frozen dessert courses, Andia and George landed on ice cream as the medium through which they could be most creative.
“This is not a trend that will come and go. Everyone loves a good scoop of ice cream, Andia said. “When you do that with ice cream, you can create all kinds of flavors. For me, it helps me say what I feel is in fashion for me in my life.”
In 2014, Andia and George launched The Freezing Pointe, an ice cream wholesaler for hotels, restaurants, corporate and private events.
But the Xourises didn’t quite feel that way—their company’s logo and name didn’t seem to reflect their values or their family values. And besides, people kept asking where they could buy ice cream.
So Andia and George sat down with their two children—Alyssa, who is Andia’s Director of Retail, and Alex, who used to work for the company and is now headed to the Culinary Institute of America—and decided to rebrand and change into a retail shop. Thus, Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream was born in 2016.
“Everyone was behind us”
The first two years of opening meant 80-hour work weeks and dinner at 11:30 every night for Andi and George, who, before leaving his previous job, helped make and deliver ice cream on the weekends.
It was a dream to start working together full time. “It’s been 25 years in the making of our marriage,” Andia said.
The first store on Green Level Church Road recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with a special cake batter flavor, free scoops and more. A second location on Ryan Road will open two years later this month.
Both locations have developed cult followings, with visitors driving from as far away as Fayetteville, Winston-Salem and Wilmington to sample Andia’s super-premium ice cream.
When Andia’s opened its first retail location, the line was at the bottom of the parking lot. Andja remembers sitting on the sidelines and crying at the sight.
“I couldn’t believe that people wanted to come try our ice cream. It was surreal,” she said.
When COVID-19 hit, Andia and George closed shop and the family switched to delivering ice cream at night. Every Tuesday at 8 p.m., they restocked their online store. Andia said that by 8:30 p.m. they would have sold out of thousands of liters of ice cream, which the family would then personally deliver door to door.
“Everyone had our backs,” Andia said. Families who ordered ice cream posted signs and pictures on their front doors thanking the Xourises for the ice cream.
“It’s actually our community that has helped us thrive in COVID,” she added. “What a blessing to think that we were able to not only survive, but thrive and come back even stronger.”
The family hopes to open a third store in Raleigh soon.
You can visit Andi’s Homemade Ice Cream at 10120 Green Level Church Rd, #208 or 1008 Ryan Rd, both in Cary.
Andia’s homemade ice cream is recognized as a Triangle favorite
Source link Andia’s homemade ice cream is recognized as a Triangle favorite