Opening an ice cream shop in the winter wasn’t exactly Rollin Amore’s plan, but he’s been pleasantly surprised by how good business has been so far.
“I’ve had at least 30 to 40 people the first four weeks basically come back two, three, four, five times,” Amore, owner and ice cream maker at Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream at Westpost in Pentagon City, says. “I’ve built up a loyal following in such a short period. That’s a testament to the product.”
Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream, named after the owner’s youngest daughter, opened in December (after initially aiming for a summer opening) in a space at 1201 S. Joyce Street that’s been a bit of a revolving door for businesses. The delayed opening was due to supply chain issues, a common refrain these days.
This is Amore’s first foray into the ice cream business, after spending nearly four decades in finance.
Saying that retirement isn’t for him, he decided to turn his longtime passion of cooking into a new business. One of the biggest thrills he has is watching people enjoy what he makes.
“This is a real passion, a labor of love,” he says, speaking to ARLnow on the phone while behind the counter at the shop. “I don’t need to work, so this isn’t for money.”
Amore makes all the ice cream in-house and says he’s hyper focused on quality and flavor. That means roasting bananas for hours or grilling ubes (purple yam from Asia).
“Most everything comes from scratch. I’m not using any flavorings because they tend to be unnatural. I try to get the flavor from whatever it is I’m making. By doing that, the [ice cream] is a little better than most.”
Amore also has given himself the unfortunate job of being the taste tester, having a creamy spoonful of every single batch that comes off the line.
“That’s the hardest part of the job,” he jokes.
One of every five or six batches doesn’t make the cut and gets thrown out, he notes.
The ice cream purveyor finds inspiration everywhere. On a recent trip to a local Harris Teeter, a whiff of spearmint led him to make a whole new flavor of ice cream. Quickly creating a small batch, his spearmint ice cream sold out nearly as fast.
Mimi’s menu of flavors consists of a mix of traditional favorites (mint chocolate chip and strawberry) and more eclectic ones, like ube, beet, and a flavor that Amore calls “Szechuan Spicy Girl.”
That one has roasted peppercorns, peanuts, and it’s savory as opposed to sweet. Plus, it’s got a “kick,” he says.
Amore is hopeful that the Pentagon City location is just the first of a chain of Mimi’s across Northern Virginia. While he’s a longtime D.C. resident, he thinks the Virginia suburbs is a better market for his brand of ice cream because the flavors appeal to “children and adults alike.”
As Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream settles into Westpost, along with a slew of other new restaurants and businesses, Amore is thrilled to be serving up scoops of ice cream he made himself to pleased customers. Even on a cold, winter’s day.
“The ice cream business is the best business in the world,” says Amore. “Because everyone is happy.”
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Arlington and its neighbors have become more segregated in the last 10 years while fair housing legislation at the state level faces significant roadblocks. Arlington’s fair housing enforcement, education, and commitment to equity practices in housing policy and programs are beginning to show signs of improvement but much more needs to be done.
Join the NAACP Arlington Branch, HOME of Virginia, and Equal Rights Center for the 2nd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference on April 15th to discuss the threats and opportunities to advancing fair housing policy across the state and within Arlington.
The half-day, in-person event will feature speakers from fair housing advocacy organizations and government agencies including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and focus on fair housing policy trends in Virginia and Arlington County. The conference aims to advance the understanding of issues and policies related to equity and affirmatively further fair housing among local officials, advocates, and members of the public.
2nd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference
Is home ownership a goal of yours in 2023? Now is the time to make it happen! Grab a (virtual) drink with the area’s top Real Estate experts, learn all about the home buying process and on how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately!
Did you know the average Arlington renter will spend $150K in 5 years of renting? Stop paying down someone else’s mortgage! Join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, April 5th at 6 p.m. via Zoom. If this time doesn’t work, we also are offering times convenient for your schedule!
A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.
Call/text Manavi at 703-869-6698 with any questions!
Private School Fair
Congressional School to Host MONA Private School Fair Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 PM
Congressional School in Falls Church, VA is delighted to host the MONA (Mothers of North Arlington) at an upcoming Private School Fair. Private schools from around
WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and