- Hank's Carolina Creamery is in Monroe, North Carolina.
(machines whirling) My name is Tony Losasso and I am the co-owner and ice cream maker for Hank's Carolina Creamery.
Hank's, because he's our beagle, and he just has this joie de vivre.
Whenever you see him, his butt starts to wiggle like crazy and he just is happy about life in general and that's what I kind of want this place to be all about.
You make the ice cream by basically setting out all of your ingredients, double checking with your recipe so that you have continuity with all your flavors.
I am adding the three ounces of vanilla.
Well, if you have something that's going to get crushed up into little bits and you want to have it more chunky, you have to add that at the end.
Or if you want to have something to be throughout everything that you're gonna taste of it, you put that at the beginning.
And when it gets to a point where it's really congealing, then you can decant it and then it has to be in the freezer for about 12 hours, sometimes even longer for some of my products because of the ingredients that they have and they take a while to set up.
I was a Montessori education teacher for 30 years.
After that, you know, I wanted to spend more time with my dad and he and I both share a love of ice cream.
Had a lot of fun in the class.
My dad enjoyed it and so I decided along with my wife that it's time to make that jump.
And we decided to open up the business of Hank's.
My daughters got this book for me, and it's a hand bound leather recipe book.
It has a beautiful quote by Tolkien on it.
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."
It means that we need to value each other and our planet much more than we do wealth.
I keep all of my recipes in it and the first recipe is actually one that we all put together.
It's our maple butter pecan.
It includes fresh pecans that are local.
With those pecans, I hand candy them and real maple syrup.
I get my dairy from a farm out on the coast.
It's still family run.
I do make some seasonal flavors.
On January 8th, I rolled out Elvis, and it was for his 88th birthday, and it was my homemade peanut butter fudge, all chunked up with lots of bananas in my ice cream and then mini marshmallow.
I know the king would've been proud to eat that.
I was introduced to Sue by some mutual friends.
- I'm Sue King and I own Gingham Girl Cake Rolls and Creations.
I had some friends come in and say, hey, have you tried Hank's?
And I said, no.
They said, you really need to get together.
His ice cream, your cake, perfect combination.
I do the cake part and then I use his ice cream in the middle and I roll it up for a delicious treat.
I put smiles on people's faces.
People love a sweet treat.
And I think it gets both of our names out there.
People love cake.
People love ice cream.
We are small, but we are fierce.
People love our products and they love to support local.
- When a customer walks in the door, my first thing to say to them is welcome.
I'm happy you're here.
Thank you for choosing this place.
- We love that he puts such attention to detail in all of his flavors and comes up with these unique creations.
It's a special treat that I can share with my boys and make memories right here in our community.
- Well, my kids love it here.
My son is sick right now.
He has a sore throat, so he asked for ice cream for me to come to this place to get his ice cream.
I haven't personally had it, but my kids, they just say that's the best ice cream they've had.
- And that's what I am in love with this business for because it's quickly becoming a place where families can come just to have a good time and enjoy themselves and enjoy some good ice cream I hope.
One of my in inspirations, I think was probably Emeril Lagasse, and he says that first thing that should always go into any food product you make should be love.
And so I know that sounds kind of corny but I really believe that.