Plainville woman opens ice cream shop in honor of grandfather

Plainville’s newest ice cream shop, Lacroix’s Homemade Ice Cream, offers a sweet spot for a cool treat on these hot summer days. 

The shop offers a variety of flavors, from white chocolate raspberry to peanut butter cup to orange pineapple. Lauren Minty and Sean Williston, the shop’s owners, are eager to get people to try flavors they had never tried before.

How the shop got its name

The name Lacroix comes from Minty’s grandfather, who was a very big part of her life and her inspiration for the ice cream business itself.

Her grandfather was obsessed with ice cream. When she would go up to visit her grandfather, they always went out for ice cream. The two would visit a homemade ice cream shop in Rhode Island.

His favorite ice cream flavor was orange pineapple, a flavor that Minty’s shop carries. The flavor resembles a creamsicle.

“I worked at an ice cream shop in high school and college,” Minty said. “We both love ice cream, and Sean has always wanted to enter the food industry.”

Finding the right spot

Minty’s father found the business on Loopnet — an online site that lists businesses for sale.

“We came and looked at the shop and made the jump,” Minty said.

Minty and Williston bought the shop just after Memorial Day and opened at the beginning of July.

The couple is excited to work in the ice cream business. Williston quit his full-time job to run the shop, while Minty still works in the fashion industry in sales. She sells to big department stores and commutes to the city daily while working at the ice cream shop on nights and weekends.

The couple moved from Stamford to Plainville to be closer to their new business.

Peanut butter cup a hit

So far, peanut butter cup is their top selling flavor, selling more than they had planned.

“We ran out of peanut butter cup one night, and people were angry,” Williston said.

They are still debating whether to run the shop seasonally or stay open year-round. It all depends on the demand.

“The response so far has been incredible,” Minty said. “Everyone seems to like it, so we’re super excited and thankful.”

The couple had to close a few times to restock, and Williston said people were very understanding.

Williston will often come in at 9 a.m. and work until midnight making ice cream. To keep up with the demand, the shop is closed on Mondays and Thursdays to be able to stock up and make fresh ice cream.

The couple came to Plainville not knowing what to expect.

We never officially announced when we opened,” Minty said. “Word just blew up over Facebook, and everyone came in.”

History of the previous ice cream shop

The shop was previously owned by Roger Leardi, who had shops in Plainville, Old Saybrook and Cheshire. When his kids graduated from college, he closed the Old Saybrook and Cheshire shops, then decided to go wholesale out of Plainville.

Leardi was in the business for 20 years. When he closed the retail shop, he sold wholesale to local restaurants, nursing homes, and hospitals.

When COVID-19 happened, Leardi decided he was finished and put the shop up for sale.

Minty said Leardi wrote down a list describing the type of person he wanted to sell the shop to. Minty recalls he told her that he wanted the new owners to think of the shop as their baby.

It was just a little after COVID-19 when the couple purchased the shop from Leardi and went through training for the ice cream business.

How people are reacting

Erica Donovan, a Plainville resident, decided to see what all the hype was after seeing people talking about it on Facebook.

“I don’t even like ice cream, but I hate being left out of things, so I decided to stop and see what all the fuss was about,” Donovan said in a Facebook post. “I now believe that I never liked ice cream because I wasn’t eating the right ice cream. This place is spectacular, and as everyone has said, they’re incredibly friendly. I’m definitely an ice cream fan now.”

The ice cream shop is located at 161 Woodford Ave. It is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. It is closed on Monday and Thursday. 



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