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Indy residents with disabilities can work in an inclusive environment thanks to Howdy Homemade Ice Cream



Indianapolis, Indiana – Howdy Handmade Ice Cream offers accessible workstations for Indiana residents with disabilities while scooping out tasty treats.

This innovative business strategy exemplifies the importance of prioritizing people over impairments.

You can choose from a variety of things to adore at Howdy Handmade Ice Cream.

Bella Minetola, an employee, said, “My favorite has to be the cold brew and cookies. I love coffee, flavored ice cream.”

Since the ice cream shop at 370 N. New Jersey, close to Mass Avenue, opened its doors in September of last year, Minetola has worked here. This shop offers all the fixings, but each scoop comes with a little extra love.

“It’s very accommodating to my needs. With being a person with autism, and I get very overstimulated,” Minetola said.

In a business that began in Dallas, Texas, the Indianapolis Howdy Handmade Ice Cream store is the fifth outpost. Employing persons with impairments is the main goal.

Co-owner Cindy Carter said, “We haven’t seen how far we can go. Only the very tip of the iceberg exists.

For 40 years, Carter’s co-owner and partner Carmela Tolver has worked to empower individuals with developmental difficulties. This time, they’re giving that job a lot of flavors.

“The focus for a lot of people are on the disability instead of the person. So, if we could get the focus back on the person, it’s just a person. They happen to have a disability,” Carter said.

“What else can we do? And one of the things that we realized is just the employment opportunities are so limited,” Toler said. “Sometimes they get employment. It’s piece rate or they’re not paid what you and I would get. A fair wage.”

Workspace adaptation, according to Carter and Tolver, is easier than it would seem. They use simple menus and adjustable handles to accommodate users who can read or cannot.

“Our taxes are included in the dollar amount that way they don’t have to worry about counting change back,” Tolver said.

Although they claim the ice cream is a reward, working is enjoyable.

“When I heard about howdy, it just made me feel very welcome and support it because of all of the inclusivity,” Minetola said.

There are sorbet options, and in a few weeks, vegan options will soon be available.