The Igloo is offering ‘cool’ frozen treats at their two locations in Philly
A customer favorite is the Cinnamon Toast Crunch frozen yogurt.
When college friends Zac Park and Bill Chlebowski developed a business plan together, frozen yogurt was always at the center as the ultimate treat to give Philly locals.
“We were both kind of obsessed with the frozen yogurt craze that was going on in 2013,” Zac Parker, the co-owner of The Igloo said in a recent interview with AL DíA News.
Their small shop opened on 23rd and South Street in early 2013, with a promise to sell the highest quality of homemade frozen yogurt.
They soon added their second location in Fishtown in 2016.
“From that name [The Igloo] came the concept,” said Parker. “We wanted it to look like an igloo, we wanted to have an icy glass looking floor, and the igloo walls.”
The flagship shop did very well in its first year, but the two owners believed that something was missing.
“We really enjoyed it, but we needed to think of how to bring more families and children into the store,” said Parker.
It was at that time that the pair added a new team member to the business, Regional Manager Caroline Smith, who helped create the family-friendly experience to increase revenue.
“Caroline came on board and took our concept to the next place,” he said of the Igloo’s Fishtown location at 1514 Frankford Ave.
Smith included in the plan expansions to the menu for water ice, frozen custard, hot fudge, and endless toppings, along with keeping their healthy frozen yogurt for health-focused customers.
“She gave us a combo of ideas that we have been using ever since,” he said.
Along with the endless menu the ice cream shop is known for, they wanted to create a community space where people could engage with each other while eating some homemade frozen treats.
Parker also added movie nights on Fridays and had open local bands perform on Thursday nights.
But when the COVID-19 pandemic shook small businesses in Philadelphia in March 2020, both events had to be canceled.
“It was really unfortunate, but we are trying to get that going again in May,” he said.
Still, the ice cream shop became a success, and it has required Parker to hire new employees.
“Customers could not self-serve anymore,” he said.
Along with adding more staff to his business, Parker used a grant that was given by the government and created a window so customers could pick up their treats without having to enter the facility.
“We’ve also been super busy with deliveries,” he said.
Parker and his business partners have been also taking the time to develop more ice cream ideas, one in particular, is an ode to everyone’s favorite childhood cereal.
“We have a Cinnamon Toast Crunch frozen yogurt,” he said.
The creation process is simple: get the cereal, soak it overnight, then pour the flavor of the milk into the base and create a custard.
“We also have other products that we get shipped from Italy,” said Parker.
Parker, along with Caroline Smith, whose family comes from Panama, Cuba, and Costa Rica, wanted to create something that offered a Latino twist, so they developed a churro bowl.
“The churros are always fresh-baked, we put ice cream inside of the bowl, those have been pretty popular as well,” he said.
As the weather is getting warmer here in Philly, why not try something new at The Igloo?
Go to the South Street location or the Fishtown location and create your own, custom-made ice cream sundaes.