Morgan Calhoun and his sister, Walker Calhoun Hudzik, are often asked what is the story behind the name of Italian ice cream from Houni, their homemade Italian ice cream, gelati and soft serve ice cream business in Greenville.
“Houni is actually our last name,” said Morgan Calhoun, pronouncing the “houn” to Calhoun with extra emphasis, then adding an “-i” at the end for good measure. “Our friends have always called our mother ‘Mama Houni’, and that sort of fits with what we’re trying to do as a really family-oriented business.”
By the way, Mama Houni (real name Felicia Calhoun), also works with the two sisters to make their fresh Italian ice cream, complementing the family sense behind the name.
Since opening in March 2020, just weeks before the pandemic shutdowns began, the Calhoun sisters have quietly expanded their store at 1884 Woodruff Rd. Into a thriving brand, with mobile dessert carts, catering for events big and small. and prepackaged delivery of all of their frozen products.
“We love to be part of the community as much as we can. That’s why we got into this. – Morgan Calhoun
It was an organic process for the sisters who, after graduating from college (Walker Calhoun Hudzik is a Furman University alumnus; Morgan Calhoun, Clemson University), decided to go into business together.
Now they are carving out a niche.
Whether it’s providing their goodies to area schools like JL Mann, Wade Hampton and Mauldin, to churches like Grace Church, to local weddings and birthdays and even sporting events like the Greenville Triumph games, the Calhoun are working to bring back the nostalgic role of the local ice cream shop and what that means for the community – albeit with Italian ice cream and gelati too.
But sometimes the classics are hard to beat.
“We were honestly surprised at the number of people who come over and over again just for the classic soft serve ice cream,” Walker said.
While the moment of their opening, just on the cusp of a pandemic, was initially stressful, they quickly found themselves immersed in a role they hadn’t anticipated: a provider of normality, of comfort to children. and the parents.
“We’ve seen so many people come in almost daily with their kids in the back, I think it’s just a chance to get out of the house and have something sweet for once with all the madness going on “said Walker.
The sisters are now trying to determine the next step – another location may be in the works, along with expanded catering capacities – but for now, they are working to nurture the foundations they have already established.
“Whatever we do from here, our focus is on being a local family business,” Morgan said. “We love to be part of the community as much as we can. That’s why we got into this.
Did you know?
Italian ice cream + Soft ice cream = Gelati
Popular flavors of Houni gelati