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Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream opens in Pentagon City, scooping some unique flavors

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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It is the decision of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) to implement the Proposed Action: the 2024 Pentagon Reservation Master Plan Update (Pentagon Master Plan) as the framework to guide future decisions regarding land use and infrastructure at the Pentagon site and Mark Center. The Pentagon Master Plan aims to provide an update to the existing conditions at the Pentagon and Mark Center and presents projects and revisions to land use categorizations that will address the specific needs to reduce the Pentagon’s environmental impacts and advance sustainability, security, and resilience. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review has been completed through preparation of a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate environmental impacts arising from implementation of the projects. WHS has concluded that no significant impacts to the human or natural environment will result from implementation of any projects, and recognized negative effects will be reduced by adherence to standard best management practices, applicable permit and consultation conditions, and standard operating procedures. This decision is further documented in the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) signed on March 20, 2024.

This notice announces the availability of the FONSI to implement the 2024 Pentagon Reservation Master Plan Update.

For further information and to request a copy of the Final EA or FONSI, please contact Brian King, Environmental and Sustainability Program Manager, WHS/Facilities Services Directorate/Standards and Compliance Division/Environmental and Sustainability Branch; (703-614-3658 or [email protected]). Please include “Pentagon Master Plan Final EA and FONSI” in the subject line.

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Come hear the latest news about fair housing enforcement, policy, and programs within Arlington County, Virginia, and across the country! Our expert panelists and guest speakers include fair housing advocates, elected officials, and government officials tasked with advancing housing equity at the local, state, and federal level.

Arlington has made substantial strides in advancing housing equity and improving fair housing policy with the adoption of the Regional Fair Housing Plan in 2023. Come learn what’s next to fight housing discrimination, incorporate equity for marginalized populations in our housing policies and programs, and increase awareness of fair housing rights under state and federal law.

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Please RSVP in advance to ensure you receive your free lunch at the conference. Free and open to the public.

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