We had the good fortune of connecting with Kellie Conant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kellie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Being naturally risk-averse in nature, building this business has completely taken me out of my comfort zone. It’s impossible to be an entrepreneur and not take risks. I have had to deeply learn how to take leaps that, say, a few years ago, I would’ve never dreamed of taking. Everyday there is a new risky decision to make; is it okay to spend this much money on “x”? Should I do “x” or “y”? Will “x” bring me the results I’m trying for? Almost every decision is risky when you’re building a business, but if we didn’t take risks, we would not be where we are today. It is absolutely true what they say – if you’re not stepping out of your comfort zone, you’re not growing.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Parlor’s Ice Creams was created to bring ice cream to Dallas that is made the way it used to be made – truly from the ground up with local, seasonal, and wholesome ingredients. Many people don’t know that made “in-house” doesn’t always mean the ice cream is made from scratch. Instead of purchasing a pre-made mix of ice cream from a Big Dairy and solely freezing it “in-house,” we source our ingredients locally and mix them ourselves. That means we buy our pasture-raised eggs and 100% grass-fed milk from the Dallas area, crack the eggs and pour the milk ourselves, and add our own locally-sourced and house-made flavors. This is how ice cream used to be made back in the day and it tastes SO much better. It is definitely tough providing a truly house-made, locally-sourced, premium ice cream. Our ice cream takes much more effort, time, and money to make than the typical ice cream, and we still sell it at market price. We want everyone to be able to have access to good ice cream. But, all the hours, blood, sweat, and tears have been worth it because we see how much people enjoy our ice cream when they take a bite (or lick!). Dallas has been missing good old scooped ice cream.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Being a huge foodie, if my best friend was visiting, I would take them on a food tour of Dallas. Dallas has an incredible food scene – not to be missed. There would be many restaurants and breweries involved. During the week, I’d take them out to lunch at Brown Bag Provisions for some excellent local scratch-made sandwiches and the BEST wedge cut fries. We’d spend one of those nights at Zaguan for some Venezuelan food like arepas and tequeños, and another night at Pizzeria Testa for a meter-long, authentic Italian pizza. On Thursday night, we’d start the weekend early with happy hour cocktails on the rooftop of HG Sply Co as the sun goes down and then dinner at Tulum. As the weekend rolls around, we’d stop at Mot Hai Ba for a delicious Vietnamese dinner on Friday, hit the local farmers markets on Saturday morning, and enjoy cocktails and good steak & pizza cuisine at Drake’s Hollwood that night. We’d finish of Sunday with a big ole steak at Town Hearth. Here and there I would sprinkle in walking around all the cute little neighborhoods of Dallas like Bishop Arts District / Oak Cliff and Lower Greenville. Two things are for sure – we’d be really full and now I need to go get a meter-long pizza at Pizzeria Testa.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My brother deserves a lot of recognition for helping us get to where we’re at. He’s running a business of his own and continues every single week to have a 30 minute meeting over the phone with us to go over what we’ve done, where we’re stuck, and what we plan to do in the future. His mentorship has helped us through so many of the questions we have had while building this business. My dad has been a role model since I was little. He built a business from the ground to something hugely successful and all throughout my childhood, he instilled some excellent business values in me and my siblings. We’ve adopted many of these in our own business practices. We’ve also spoken with numerous business owners throughout Dallas that we have formed relationships with. These people have helped us with our entrepreneurial questions, giving us the inside scoop on what it’s really like to own a small business. Some of these conversations have really affected the direction we’ve taken as a business.