Goodies Frozen Custard named one of the 40 best ice creams…

The Ice House aims to evoke a sense of nostalgia to accompany your choice of custard.

ALEXANDRIA, VA — In July, Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats was named one of America’s Top 40 Ice Cream Shops by Thrillist. With over 11,000 ice cream shops nationwide, that’s a serious distinction. While owner Brandon Byrd was alerted to the accolade in his direct messages on social media by several adoring and loyal customers, many of you might not be surprised at all by this fact.

As its website puts it, Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats is “legendary Wisconsin-style ice cream.” Now that legend is certified (on paper, at least).

Owner and Founder of Goodies Frozen Custard, Brandon Byrd (All photos Grace Billups Arnold)

Growing up in Wisconsin, Byrd spent most of her childhood alongside her mother in their kitchen: following, learning, and perfecting her recipes, mostly for dessert.

“My mom is a fantastic cook,” Byrd said. “I grew up in the kitchen with my mom while most of the kids were playing. I started out as a sous chef, and the very first dessert I learned to make was her banana pudding. I really enjoyed being in the kitchen with my mom.

After growing up, graduating, and entering the workforce, Byrd found himself at a crossroads. Living in New York, he had a good job but was far from home and his comforts, like his mother’s banana pudding (custard, cobbler and more).

His mother had moved to the East Coast — the DMV area — and when Byrd visited, he often found himself returning to that old place by her side in his kitchen. He found just as often that when he prepared and enjoyed these old recipes, he felt at home, both literally and figuratively.

What else could he do but quit the corporate world, leave New York and move to Maryland to be closer to his mother? To start fresh, Byrd opened a food truck in Washington DC. In 2012, GG Custard Truck made its mark in the district by serving old-fashioned custard. Amid a sea of ​​competitors selling frozen yogurt, Byrd’s custard stood out. He worked in this field for the next nine years until the opening of the Alexandria site.

Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats, 200 Commerce St.

After laying eyes on the former Ice House near Prince Street, Byrd knew he had found the perfect spot. It was a mid-20th century style build, centered on that coveted sense of nostalgia that Alexandria aims for.

Byrd renovated the building and its exterior with new paint, a new sidewalk, a garden, and nostalgic elements. You can’t miss the Fat Boy statue holding a burger, the 1950s Route 66 gas pump, or the employees with their buttonholes and bow ties.

Although the shop was new, Byrd kept its menu the same. After all, it worked for him for 10 years in DC, and pretty much his entire adult life.

“My philosophy is to keep it simple,” Byrd told the Zebra. “It’s easy to mess up something complicated, I don’t chase trends… I want it to be simple and really, really good. What I want is for the quality to shine, I don’t need people saying it’s so good because of the nuggets. I want people to say it’s so good they don’t need nuggets.

Sit down and enjoy your dessert.

the Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats cooler, officially launched earlier this year, immediately attracted an audience. Now both sides of the Potomac River have access to Wisconsin’s treasure. Classic menu items like turtle custard and big apple donut sandwich have become top sellers. Seasonal favorites like peach cobbler and freshly baked pies sell out fast.

Byrd’s favorite staple is turtle pecan sundae.

“It’s my jam,” he said, “my absolute go-to every day.”

Her favorite seasonal dish is a connection between peach cobbler and bread pudding.

“I love, love, love bread pudding,” he admitted. “It’s so soft, fluffy and airy, when you add the custard and caramel sauce that melt and soak in.” (Does your mouth water?)

When it comes to his customers, he said the turtle pecan sundae and the big apple donut are the most popular.

While there are unique creations like the donut and classic additions like the sprinkles, Goodies products really stand on their own. This is exactly what Byrd has sought to do his entire life with his recipes. This is exactly why it was recognized by Thrillist.

“One award didn’t make us,” he commented. “It’s just a reflection of who we already are. An award isn’t going to define that person’s character; integrity is something you teach at a young age, and I want to build on that. quality, integrity and character. I’ve been here for 10 years and been consistent with price, product, positivity. Why would I change what brought me here?

Byrd didn’t change anything despite inflation and rising production costs.

“I want to be a reliable source of nostalgia, comfort, reliability. I want to be unshakeable, and there’s something to be said about that, be unshakeable, be consistent.

He also values ​​the simple pleasures in life like family and quality food. His clients recognize him and he hopes his family does too. And long after his time on Earth, Byrd hopes the recipes will stay in the family.

“I have three great-nieces. [They are] my legacy, my legacy is not Brandon. What do I want to see? These three, and if I have children, for [have them all] look at this and say, ‘Uncle Brandon [or Dad] build this?’ I want them to be proud of it and take it to places I never could.

“I always wanted my legacy to be them, their legacy,” he added. “I want to look back and say I did a great job teaching them and coaching them to build on what I built.”

[SEE ALSO: The Coolest Scoop in Alexandria!]

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