Sure, she doesn’t look a day over 20 on the first warm day of the year, but The Ice Cream Parlor has been spreading the scoop and the love in DTSP for almost half a century now.
The downtown staple opened its doors on the corner of NW Broad Street in Southern Pines in 1976. It’s seen a lot over the past 45 years — birthday parties, sunny spring days and most recently, a global pandemic.
“We really saw the value of being a community-based business,” owner Anthony Parks says. “It’s so clear that this community is special. We really helped each other out.”
Anthony grew up spending his afternoons hanging out with friends at the Broad Street icon in the 80s. His dad owned the gas station on E. Connecticut Ave. His mother managed a downtown dress shop called SM Bradford that sat next door to the Ice Cream Parlor (now DAHR).
“I was pretty much always down here growing up,” Anthony says. “When I moved back to raise my children, it all just made sense.
Anthony bought the Ice Cream Parlor in 2002. He’s since been able to watch kids come in after school for a scoop just as he did grow into adults.
“One of the best parts about my time owning this place is the blending of memories and meeting new people,” Anthony says. “I might look out of a kitchen window and see a child of one of my childhood friends. I might meet someone just passing through. It’s the really the people and the flow of old and new.”
Cheers to 45 Years
In honor of their 45th birthday, The Ice Cream Parlor is kicking off the month of March with a series of Instagram giveaways. Free ice cream for life, free pints and Ice Cream Parlor swag are among the many prizes up for grabs.
They’ll start posting giveaways at the beginning of March, so check them out on Instagram to keep up with the celebrations.