Mama Bird's Cookies and Cream, a new ice cream shop in downtown Holly Springs, will mark its grand opening Friday with a fun family-friendly event.
The shop at the corner of Holly Springs and Main streets officially opened back in November. Since then, owner Lesley Richmond has featured a regularly changing list of 24 flavors, along with homemade baked cookies such as cookies, fruit cobblers and brownies.
"We've been extremely busy," she tells me. "But good busy."
Mama Bird's features custard-style ice cream with all kinds of additions and inclusions - from pecan brittle to apple pie to even birthday cake mix.
But here's what sets the shop apart: Everything is homemade. The ice cream is made from scratch. There's no powdered mix. And nearly everything that's added to the ice cream is made from scratch too.
So the apple pie ice cream has chunks of real, homemade apple pie.
The butter pecan ice cream combines praline ice cream and homemade pecan brittle.
The cinnamon roll ice cream features homemade cinnamon rolls (which you can buy freshly baked at the shop on Sunday mornings).
Even the waffle cones are made from scratch in large batches with egg whites, sugar, flour and cinnamon.
"We truly mean homemade," Richmond said.
One of the more popular flavors is "salted crackamel:" Salted caramel ice cream with Saltine crackers that are carmalized and dipped in chocolate.
Richmond, who continues her day job as outreach coordinator for Meals on Wheels of Wake County, launched the business from home. The mom of two and wife of a Holly Springs firefighter has been a life-long baker and maker of treats and has been serving up ice cream at events with an old-fashioned ice cream cart. She continues to cater events, including corporate affairs and weddings.
Making ingredients from scratch isn't the easiest way to make ice cream, but, Richmond tells me, it's why her customers come back for more.
"So many people fell in love with our product for that very reason," she said. "A cookie from the grocery store tastes completely different from something you make in house. We wanted to stick with that philosophy. We like the fact that we can control everything we put in your ice cream."
Mama Bird's grand opening celebration is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, at the shop. Napoli Wood-Fired Pizza food truck will be there. Free activities include a bounce house, a local DJ, face painting and balloon animals. The first 100 people will get a free scoop of ice cream.
The shop is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday. It's closed on Mondays. You'll find it across from the Pizza Hut and next to the Exxon station at 304 N. Main St., Holly Springs.