I don't know about you all, but I get super inspired when I meet women who work full-time gigs (corporate or otherwise) and then moonlight passion projects, hobbies, and or small businesses. When my friend and former co-worker told me about her current co-worker (did ya follow all of that?) who works in marketing by day and spends her free time and weekends growing the frozen custard company she and her sisters run I was like, "I need to meet this person!" Ice cream happens to be one of my top ten favorite things and I of course have a very soft spot for sister-run companies. A few emails later and I was introduced to Leigh, the youngest of the sister trio that is Honeychild's Sweet Creams.
Mary Beth (oldest sis), Kathleen (middle sis) and Leigh (youngest sis) all live in Houston and each has a hand in making their handmade frozen custard a success. I spent a few hours with these three last Sunday - getting to know each other over spoonfuls of custard straight from the cartons and cups they brought (there was lots of double-dipping) - and talking about all kinds of things related to their business and otherwise. I'm not sure how they feel, but I felt an instant connection and kind of think I need to force them to be my friends. Not just because the custard is freaking delicious...but because they are each so cool and easy to be around. I did a little Q+A session with the sisters in between bites of the sweet cream - hope you all enjoy getting to know more!
Q: What makes frozen custard different from ice cream?
A: Long story short, custard is creamier due to additional egg yolks. It’s not healthier but we like to think it’s more delicious.
Q: Where does the name Honeychild come from?
A: Our dad calls us “Honeychild” – the term of endearment was an easy association that applied to each of us and honey is sweet, just like our custard. It’s an ode to our sister-business.
Q: What role do each of you play in the business?
A: Kathleen (middle sis) is the owner and the brainchild behind Honeychild’s. She makes all of the frozen custard and in addition to all the nitty gritty business stuff (book keeping, licensing, etc.), she sources all of our ingredients and develops the flavors. Her passion for baking and sweets plus a business degree are what helped get the brand off the ground. Mary Beth (oldest sis) is a partner in the company and in charge of business development and vendor relationships. By day, she’s a school psychiatrist. Leigh (youngest sis) is also a partner in the company and handles all branding, PR, and marketing duties.
Q: What inspires the delicious flavors?
A: We have “core” flavors (Black Chocolate, Vanilla, Buttermilk Pie, Cookies and Creme, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Pecan Praline) that we make year-round and we introduce fresh, seasonal flavors depending on what produce is in season or what’s inspiring us during a particular time of year. For example, in September we created a limited-edition french toast challah, apple and honey frozen custard in celebration of Rosh Hashanah. A current favorite that’s available is the Cinnamon Roll…it’s pretty addictive (editor’s note: this is true, it’s to die for). Kathleen is a genius at coming up with flavors but a lot of the time she draws from what we would make and bake as kids growing up at our family’s ranch outside of Houston. There’s a southern, homestyle side to what we carry that’s definitely influenced by our roots.
Aside from crafting delicious and unique flavors, the most important part of our custard is that we adhere to a whole food approach. Each batch is handmade in Houston and we us locally sourced all-natural and/or organic ingredients. We list what goes into each flavor and the local farms we partner with on our site (here) and think that the quality contributes to what makes Honeychild’s so tasty.
Q: How do you feel about being team of sisters?
A: We actually get asked this frequently – usually by other women who own or run a business with a sister or sisters. It’s hard to explain unless you work with a sibling, but it’s a unique situation. We all trust and love each other so much, are each other’s toughest critics and biggest cheerleaders, and we can speak openly and honestly about all parts of the business – which can be both good and bad – because we all care about it so much. At the end of the day we’re lucky to be a team with individual strengths that lend well to the business while also maintaining an unconditional love that allows us to tolerate the highs and lows that come with building a brand.
Q: What are each of your favorite flavors?
A: Mary Beth’s is Buttermilk Pie. Leigh’s is Meyer Lemon – which is going to be coming out again soon! And Kathleen’s is King Cake – when we make King Cake we hide a chocolate baby in each pint. Because, why not?!
Q: Where can I buy Honeychild’s Sweet Creams?
A: So glad you asked! You can find us at some amazing artisanal stores and groceries in Houston, Galveston, and Bellville. We list all our retailer who carry Honeychild’s here. We also offer delivery to select locations (check out the map of offered areas here) through our partner, Velo Delivery, a bicycle courier service in the Heights and Downtown. We love getting to cater corporate and special events and you can get more info about that here.
Guys. I really can’t say enough great things about Leigh, Kathleen, and Mary Beth. I’d like to say that as a new member of the unofficial Honeychild’s Sweet Creams fan club, the custard is truly amazing and any ice cream lover will be crazy about it. I plan on stocking my freezer full of the Cinnamon Roll and Buttermilk Pie.
P.S. A big thank you to Bailey for letting us use her lovely breakfast room for our ice cream social!