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Sweet Transitions: Howdy Homemade Evolves into Gozo’s Ice Cream

Alyson Rodriguez
Marce Tirres has been working at Gozo’s ice cream since it opened and has now gained more leadership roles.

Editor’s Note: This is the third part in a three-part series.  

In a heartwarming scoop of innovation, the beloved ice cream shop Howdy Homemade is undergoing a sweet transformation as it rebrands and changes its name to Gozo’s Ice Cream. The business embraces a deliciously inclusive mission by empowering individuals with special needs through its delightful workforce.  

Gozo’s Ice Cream, formerly known as Howdy Homemade opened its doors Dec. 3, 2022, at 601 N. Oregon St. in the Roderick Artspace lofts. The Howdy Homemade ice cream franchise, originally based in Dallas, partnered with the El Paso Community foundation to help young people with disabilities acquire work experience.  

“Gozo’s Ice Cream is a locally owned ice cream shop that is carrying forth the mission of spreading joy through our amazing ice cream, and our mission of providing opportunities to those with disabilities,” said Adam Tirres, program coordinator at the El Paso Community Foundation and manager for Gozo’s Ice Cream. “The word Gozo comes from Gosar which means joy or to enjoy, and we’re all about spreading the joy.” 

Tirres has been the manager ever since the ice cream shop first opened under the name Howdy Homemade. With the upcoming rebranding, he emphasizes a renewed commitment to their mission of actively employing individuals with disabilities. 

“We started working with Howdy Homemade because of the mission to help employ people with disabilities but there was a divergence in that mission,” Tirres said. “We’re very proud of El Paso and we want to highlight it. We’re doing that by changing our name to Gozo’s and (spreading) the joy that way.  

The staff at Gozo’s Ice Cream are given the tools to thrive in a professional environment, acquiring crucial socialization and workplace skills. Several former employees have successfully transitioned to other workplaces, attributing their newfound confidence to their experiences at Gozo’s Ice Cream. 

“The four individuals who have left, have moved on to better opportunities in the community,” Tirres said. “They’ve found jobs which provide more hours than we’re able to provide. Our employees have the talent to do anything and everything. This is a great thing for the disability population in El Paso.” 

Tirres found inspiration to engage in this field of assisting young individuals with disabilities through his younger sister, Marce Tirres, who has special needs. Since the ice cream parlor’s inception, Marce has been involved in working with her older brother. 

“My favorite part about my job is social interaction and getting to greet and get to know new people,” Marce said. “It’s a lot of fun making and serving ice cream. I really love coming up with new ice cream flavors.” 

The ice cream parlor boasts a diverse selection of delightful flavors like prickly pear sor-bae, cold brew and cookies and cinnamon roll, all crafted in-house within a suite adjacent to the shop. Patrons can customize their ice cream experience with an array of toppings and cones. 

“Come to Gozo’s where we sprinkle you with joy,” Marce said. “We love to have customers come in and to make them happy.” 

Gozo’s Ice Cream will be having a soft opening this month in February and their grand opening will occur in March in celebration of disability awareness month.  

The ice cream shop’s hours of operation are from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday, then 12:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.   

For more information on the business, visit Gozo’s Ice Cream on Instagram @gozoselp.    

Alyson Rodriguez is a contributor may be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on X. 

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About the Contributor
Alyson Rodriguez
Alyson Rodriguez, Contributor/Writer

Alyson Rodriguez is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso, currently majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in leadership studies. She is a contributor at The Prospector. She joined The Prospector in the Fall of 2020 as a contributor for the Arts and Culture section and has now written articles for the sports and news section and has done podcast segments as well. After discovering her passion for journalism through The Prospector, Alyson has gone to intern at El Paso Matters, NPR Next Generation Texas Newsroom and the Texas Standard. 

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