Plainville's new sweet shop, Lacroix's Homemade Ice Cream, is named for a grandpa in Rhode Island who's a fanatic about the frozen dessert. Specifically, co-owner Lauren Minty's maternal grandfather.
"He is just obsessed, obsessed with ice cream," Minty said. "Any memories I have of him, he's just an ice cream lover. Every time we go to visit him, he's always going to the local shop and getting quarts and pints to bring back for us."
Minty said her grandfather is "ecstatic" about the central Connecticut ice cream shop that now bears his last name, which she opened with her partner, Sean Williston, in early July. The two have "countless" summers of ice cream scooping experience that they wanted to parlay into their own small business, and they began talking about opening a shop about six years ago, Minty said.
They went to an ice cream training course shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but decided to wait out the period of uncertainty, Minty said. And later after their plans to buy a home fell through unexpectedly, the couple reconsidered their business plan, after Minty's father found the Plainville space available on a real estate website.
"We sat on it for a little while, and then we decided, it's now or never. We didn't find a house, we don't have a mortgage, we don't have kids yet," she said. "So, now's the time if we're actually going to do this."
The Woodford Avenue space had been home to The Creamery, and owner Roger Leardi helped train Minty and Williston ahead of their opening, she said. They had hoped to open by Memorial Day, but debuted the first week of July — and business hasn't slowed down since.
"Plainville, after opening a week and a half ago it has been beyond our wildest dreams to have met so many amazing people and sell out twice," they posted on Instagram July 13, informing guests that they would remain closed on Mondays and Thursdays to make ice cream.
Each day, Lacroix's offers about 20 flavors, the couple said, with staples like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cookies and cream, cookie dough, coconut and mint chip. Other popular varieties include coffee Heath bar and peanut butter cup, they said, and the menu has featured options like brownie batter, birthday cake, Butterfinger and cotton candy. A banana ice cream is made with whole blended bananas, Minty said, as she wanted as natural of a flavor as possible.
Dairy-free options are available, including fruit sorbets and creamy flavors made with coconut. The couple plans seasonal flavors heading into fall, like maple walnut and apple pie, but they haven't yet decided if Lacroix's will be a year-round operation.
Ice cream is available in cups and cones (including freshly made waffle cones), along with milkshakes, floats, sundaes and banana splits. Lacroix's also offers chocolate sprinkles made from real, high-quality chocolate, Minty said, a topping she loved when going out for ice cream with her grandparents in Rhode Island.
The owners have transformed the outdoor patio into a gathering space, with picnic tables, benches, planters with bright flowers and string lights that illuminate the seating area at night. A brick wall is painted with a small pink and white mural, featuring a peace sign, a pink heart and an ice cream cone.
"We wanted to make it fun and hip...a place where you can hang out," Minty said, adding that they play music outside as well. "[It's a] place for the community."
Lacroix's Homemade Ice Cream is at 161 Woodford Ave. in Plainville. It's open Tuesday and Wednesday and Friday through Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Closed Monday and Thursday. instagram.com/lacroixshomemade.