Folks will see the writing on the wall when they step into this parlor. Talia Holmes who owns Sweet Joy Ice Cream Bar absolutely loves ice cream.
“Who doesn’t love ice cream?” said Talia explaining why she decided to open the shop in her hometown of Lawrenceville.
From the signs and post-it quotes to the murals of anthropomorphic ice cream girls, it’s clear Talia has infused a lot of her upbeat personality into the business.
“All our ice cream flavors are handmade on site with the best local ingredients we can find that are minimum sugar . . . just good, quality ice cream, and all of them are truly made with love.”
As an ice cream connoisseur, Talia always likes to see what people order from her on-rotation menu that features over forty choices including the boozy flavors infused with ingredients like bourbon, bailey and other adult beverages.
“We have interesting people in Lawrenceville. Butter pecan, piña colada and banana pudding are some of the most popular flavors. The banana pudding flavor I created with my grandmother’s banana pudding recipe in mind. It’s made with real bananas.”
Having learned to bake in her grandmother’s kitchen, Talia likes to tinker with ingredients and flavors as she adds new items to the menu. She’s introduced a variety of goodies— ice cream sandwiches scoops served in doughnut bowls. Some of her savory items include hot dogs and the specialty sausages, stuffed with ingredients like bacon, cheese, jalapenos, pineapple.
Playing with pallets, Talia has also perfected a sweet and savory flavor that will incorporate bits of beef brisket from Foggy Bottom BBQ on the square in downtown Lawrenceville.
Talia tries to make sure there is something for everyone, and that’s not just with the ice cream. She welcomes children, adults, and groups to come have a karaoke night, play a game like Uno and Janga, or just kick back and watch a Disney movie while enjoying their preference of a frozen treat.
“People can absolutely come in here and just do karaoke whenever they want to. Or we’ll put on movies, or just pull up Just Dance and have a dance-off. I’m down for whatever,” said Talia, admitting her space was specially chosen to be a venue for birthday parties and group outings. She even lets people bring in food as long as it was purchased from a restaurant on the square in downtown Lawrenceville.
“It’s a great place for first dates. Sometimes I will see people come in here, and it’s so cute. I’ll just listen and smile. It’s an easy place for people to engage with the games.”
‘Community’ and ‘family’ are two words that come to mind when Talia describes her business. A patron of local businesses in Lawrenceville for years, Talia thought it would be a perfect place to open her shop. Taking every opportunity to work with other organizations in the community, Talia agreed to donate up to 250 scoops to Aurora Theatre’s .5K run on Saturday, April 6.
As for family, that’s where the whole idea for the business originated, Talia admits. She named the shop after her mother “Joyce” and hopes to pass on some of her age-old lessons to her daughter, Latavia who helps regularly at the shop.
“It’s like Chocolate Girl there,” Talia said pointing to the mural of a chocolate ice cream girl. A quote beside the mural reads, “Don’t waste time counting the sprinkles on someone’s else’s ice cream.” Talia explained, “You can’t waste time wondering what something else is doing, and I encourage my daughter to chase her dreams and not get caught up in what society or social media deems perfect. You got to do what’s right for you.”
Talia believes that the energy she emits will attract similar kinds of people. She invites customers to make their mark by leaving notes on her display wall.
“That’s just another way for people to engage with me and leave their comments. I like reading what they have to say,” Talia said of the notes collaged on her wall.
Talia takes her uplifting message a step further with a big “I love you” inscribed on the floor.
“I just want people to feel love when they come in here,” Talia said. “With my family, you couldn’t leave without a hug and an ‘I love you.’”
Talia is engaged to marry her business partner, Matt Mrorinzki who co-owns Sweet Joy Ice-cream Bar.
The shop is in the Honest Alley at 178 E Crogan St. and either Talia, Matt or one of their staff can be reached during business hours at 678) 744-3683.