Izzy’s Ice Cream Parlor opens in Vinton

Izzy’s Ice Cream Parlor has opened in Vinton. Owner Donnie Curulla (left) serves a waffle cone to employee Kayla Witt.

There is no longer any need to drive to Franklin County if you have a craving for Homestead Creamery ice cream. Izzy’s Ice Cream Parlor on Washington Avenue in Vinton serves the authentic Homestead Creamery treat.

Owner Donnie Curulla said that is one reason she chose to open an ice cream store– she and her family were making trips to the original Homestead Creamery shop in Wirtz at least every other weekend for dessert.

Likewise, no need to travel to Rocky Mount for Kupcakery Kupcakes– Izzy’s serves those, too.

The shop is actually named “Izzy’s Place– Vendor Gift Shop and Ice Cream Parlor.” It opened on July 27 and held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce on September 14.

The shop is owned and operated by Curulla, named after her granddaughter, who had a lifelong dream of opening a shop with her grandmother.

Izzy’s is located in an eye-catching, two-story house at 302 Washington Avenue on the corner across from Vinton Baptist. Ice cream customers can sit on the front porch or inside the eclectic shop. Parking is in the rear or on the street.

The shop sells ice cream cones (waffle, sugar, and cake cones), cups, floats, and shakes. The flavors available include the best-selling chocolate, vanilla, cookie dough, and very popular strawberry, lemon crunch, and peanut butter Oreo; other flavors, like chocolate pecan, trade out. Curulla is considering a pumpkin specialty in honor of the fall season.

The cupcake flavors are a surprise each week as the bakery delivers a variety of their choice each Thursday. Recently, the cupcakes sold out in just a few minutes and an extra delivery was necessary that week.

Izzy’s Ice Cream Parlor held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce on September 14. Shown left to right are VACC Executive Assistant Kathryn Sowers, Chamber President Justin Davison, granddaughter Izzy, owner Donnie Curulla, son Chip Donahue with Curulla’s granddaughter, Curulla’s husband Joe, VACC Executive Director Angie Chewning, VACC board member Allison Finney, and Vinton Mayor Brad Grose.

The gift shop items include jewelry, candles, bath soaps, T-shirts, re-purposed furniture, hand-painted signs, and other country primitive items sold by vendors who come by just to restock. They carry the Willow Tree line of gifts as well.

Curulla is familiar to many in Vinton who see her at the office of optometrist Dr. Neal Jessup where she works part-time as an optical assistant fitting glasses. She and her family have lived in Vinton for 38 years. She is a graduate of Cave Spring High School, but her sons Chip (Izzy’s father) and Joseph graduated from William Byrd and are both teachers.

Now she works full-time at Izzy’s. Her granddaughter Isabelle (Izzy) works there as well, along with WBHS student Kayla Witt.

Curulla says when she was younger Izzy used to ask her what they would do when they got older. Izzy loves to bake; her uncle loves to make pies; Curulla isn’t a baker but she could dip ice cream. Thus, the idea for their shop was born.

By all reports and observation, their business has been excellent so far, with a steady stream of customers.

Curulla says she made the leap to open the shop when the location came up for sale. She said the building was in perfect condition, just a little drab, with a need for more striking colors inside and out. The building had previously housed insurance offices.

Hours are posted on their Izzy’s Ice Cream Facebook page, but are the shop is generally open Wednesday noon to 6:30, Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m. Izzy’s is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

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