If you've been to downtown West Point anytime in the past two years, you've likely seen the bright pink facade of The Lazy Cow Ice Cream Parlor, located at 714 Main Street. And, we hope you've stopped in and enjoyed a delicious treat, because if you haven't yet had the chance, we promise you.are.missing.out.
The Lazy Cow has been such a special addition to West Point and the surrounding area, and is the ice cream shop we never knew we needed but sure are thankful to have.
With The Lazy Cow recently opening a second location in Mechanicsville, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to ask the owner, Amanda Franklin, to share her story about how The Lazy Cow came to be. Allow us to introduce you to Amanda, and hear in her words how she is living out her childhood dream.
I often tell folks, “I’m living the dream” and truly I mean that. As a little girl, part of my life was spent in Ashland, VA – the center of the universe. My aunt and I would walk to town and visit the local ice cream parlor. I remember always being so amazed with all the different flavors in the dipping cabinets, the sweet smell that hit you as soon as you walked in, and of course the friendly staff members who eagerly greeted us! From a very young age, I knew I wanted to have an ice cream parlor someday – and there begins my “dream”.
Most people have different ideas of what they want to do as an adult all throughout their childhood, and I can’t say I was any different – from a teacher to an archeologist, to planning ideas of restaurant businesses with my dad, but one thing always remained my dream – owning an ice cream parlor. The plan, however, was to own an ice cream parlor once I retired from whatever career path I would eventually choose. Life happens though, or should I say, COVID happens! In 2019, I was furloughed from my job as a payroll administrator. My world was crushed and even though I wasn’t completely laid off, no one knew when or if we would return to the office. What do you do at that point? Most normal people waited out the storm and hoped our regular life would soon return, and then there was me. I jumped off the deep end about a month into being furloughed and decided there was no better time to chase my real dream, because what makes people happier in times of despair than ice cream? The answer is NOTHING!
In late May, I began doing market research on ice cream parlors, potential communities I’d want to serve in, and of course the best part – the ice cream itself! By June, I had really made the leap of faith and signed the lease at 714 Main Street in the tiny river town of West Point! My husband and I spent more hours than I can count remodeling and overcame many construction obstacles. Honestly, there was a point when I wasn’t sure we’d ever make it open, but I had the support of so many friends, family and even the West Point community cheering us on, and it helped get us through. Finally, in September 2020, we had the grand opening that one could only dream of – except now, it was my reality.
Fast forward to December 2022, just a little more than two years since our very first grand opening, we are a few weeks into our second location in Mechanicsville and we also have a mobile coffee and ice cream unit! The amount of support we have received over the last couple of years has been astounding, and because of that support, my dream has been able to grow and evolve in a way that I never imagined. It may seem like we’ve reached our “peak”, but for us this is just the beginning. As we head into the new year, we are eager to announce a few more bits of exciting news that we are confident will excite our supporters!
Oftentimes, I stop and contemplate my life and tell myself, “I cannot believe this is real life.” Everything that I have accomplished, at some point in my life, felt out of reach. While my goal has always been to create a specific brand and business that people can be excited about, my personal agenda still exists – I hope my story inspires a child somewhere in this big world to believe in themselves, even if it feels impossible or out of reach. Always remember, dreams don’t come true unless you put in the work to make them a reality and the only person that must believe in you is YOU!
To plan your visit to The Lazy Cow at their West Point or Mechanicsville location, follow them on Facebook (West Point and Mechanicsville), Instagram (West Point and Mechanicsville), or visit their website at the lazycowparlor.com.