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Howdy Homemade Ice Cream Opens in Lubbock, Partners with Community to Create Business Model for Employing Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


LUBBOCK, Texas, June 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amazing ice cream served by amazing people: Lubbock entrepreneurs Imre and Cindy Szenttornyay are thrilled to announce the opening of the third Texas location of Howdy Homemade Ice Cream, dedicated to providing job opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). A grand opening ice cream social celebration will take place at noon July 8, at the store’s location in the West End Shopping Center (2628 W Loop 289, Suite 300, Lubbock, TX 79407). Among the employees – known as Howdy Heroes – are Gyorgi and Elek Szenttornyay, Imre and Cindy’s two children with IDDs.

Howdy Homemade is on a relentless pursuit to create more jobs for individuals with IDDs through its current shops in Dallas; Katy, TX; and Asheville, NC, and franchise agreements in place for close to 20 additional locations over the next few years. Pints featuring Howdy Heroes are also sold in approximately 200 H-E-B and Brookshire Brothers grocery stores.

With statistics indicating that 80% of those with IDDs are unemployed, Howdy Homemade serves as a model for the business community, exemplifying how these members of the community can significantly contribute to a company’s success and culture.

“I’m so excited to work here at Howdy Homemade with my friends,” said Elek Szenttornyay. “I love to say ‘Howdy!’ when people come in for our delicious ice cream.”

Imre’s pursuit of the brand’s mission led him to reach out to various community organizations in order to create key collaborations supporting those with IDDs. He is committed to employing graduates of the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research as well as members of High Point Village, a community for those with IDDs. A portion of proceeds from ice cream sales will also be donated to High Point.

As a result of these significant partnerships and unique opportunities now accessible for individuals with IDDs, Imre and his Howdy Homemade team have established Lubbock as an epicenter and model for illustrating the value and benefits of hiring those with IDDs – for both employees and for businesses. Imre’s incredible personal and professional journey to his mission through Howdy Homemade is shared as a chapter in the new book Think Big!, a compilation of inspiring business stories that is currently an Amazon best-seller in 25 different categories.

“At Howdy Homemade, our Howdy Heroes are truly our future leaders, inspiring other businesses to employ those with IDDs, bringing the corporate and non-profit sectors together, and providing customers a great-tasting product with a purpose – it is really good ice cream,” Szenttornyay added. “We’re flipping the traditional business model by putting our mission first. And we can’t wait to open our doors to the Lubbock community so they can enjoy the Howdy experience for themselves!”

Howdy Homemade is truly a family affair for the Szenttornyays. In addition to Gyorgi and Elek, older son Sebestyen serves as franchise partner and general manager. Operating as Howdy West Texas, LLC, the team plans to open four additional locations in Texas, each one employing 15-25 Howdy Heroes.

Ice cream lovers can sign up for the Howdy Heroes Membership program, a subscription offering members a free pint a month, select members-only flavors, invitations to special tastings, quarterly ice cream socials, free scoops on special holidays, and additional rewards and prizes. Most importantly, $1 of every subscription sold will go back to the local community to benefit special needs programs and scholarships.


Howdy Homemade Ice Cream is on a relentless pursuit to create more jobs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) using the power of our smiles and amazing ice cream. Founded by Tom Landis in 2015 at the original location in Dallas, Howdy Homemade is growing rapidly through new retail shops as well as an expanding presence of its pints in grocery stores. Howdy Homemade serves as a model for businesses to recognize the value of employing those with IDDs and to provide a foundation for its Howdy Heroes to achieve their full potential.

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