Every small town has a token ice cream store, the one where you see kids standing in line in the hot summer, ice cream melting down the sides of their warm waffle cones. Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream, a family-run business in Cary, North Carolina, is certainly a token ice cream store—but for all of the nation. Their vanilla ice cream recently won second place at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association conference, a highly coveted prize among ice cream shop owners all across the United States.
"Most ice cream experts always test a brand's vanilla ice cream, as it is the foundation for all other flavors. With vanilla, you cannot mask your quality. It is as pure as any ice cream flavor can be," Andia states. Growing an increasingly loyal following, Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream is quickly becoming a household name.
Owners Andia Xouris and her husband, George, are no strangers to hard work. Andia was born on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, spending countless hours in the kitchen learning how to make traditional Greek recipes with her family. After moving to the United States at the age of 6, Andia’s father worked tirelessly to build a successful food distribution business. Andia learned from all of his achievements and mistakes and witnessed the value of building a loyal customer base and providing excellent customer service. George also grew up in a Greek home and recounts spending time with his Yiayia and Pappou over bowls of ice cream. George inherited the family heirloom ice cream scoop, and Andia’s logo is modeled after it today to symbolize the family’s roots.
Andia’s occupies a beautifully-decorated storefront nestled in a shopping district in Cary. As soon as you walk in, you’re transported to a sugary, sweet-smelling dessert heaven. The smell of freshly baked cones and specialty ice cream flavors is mesmerizing. The shop’s design is fun and clean—the ice cream is situated in the heart of the store, jars of crunchy and colorful toppings sitting atop its case. The walls are filled with menus of the unique dessert creations and ice cream flavors.
Andia and George are serious about crafting the best of the best—they attend the National Ice Cream Retailer Association’s conventions every year to learn about new trends and flavors. Seeing that premium ice cream begins with premium ingredients, Andia partners with several local businesses to source the freshest ingredients whenever possible. Andia’s ice cream is the pinnacle of innovation, with flavors like white chocolate ginger, Santa’s cookies, lemon basil sorbet and cannoli cream.
But her most well-known creation is her baklava sundae. The masterpiece starts with two scoops of her homemade baklava ice cream, cinnamon and nutmeg infused ice cream swirled with chopped walnuts and real chunks of baklava. The ice cream is then drizzled with ample honey, warm hot fudge, whipped cream and a slice of baklava. Every bite tastes like heaven, a true homage to the traditional Greek dessert.
Andia’s caters for weddings, corporate events and other celebrations. They’re dedicated to excellence in everything they do—it certainly shows in their desserts and customer service. I have no doubt that Andia’s will receive more awards and continue to live up to its slogan of “scooped with love.”
Special thanks to Tabletop Media for the delicious complimentary sundae. These reviews are entirely honest and my own.