A Modern Day Dairy Queen

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

Walking down Walnut Street in the gayborhood you probably noticed a new store front. While it’ still cold out I’m sure the new frozen yogurt store caught your eye – Igloo. Many are familiar with Igloo in its original location, in Gray’s Ferry, but now this gay owned and operated business has found its home at 12th and Walnut.

We sat down with one of the owners, Zac Parker, to learn more about this new addition. Zac is the definition of a local. Raised in the area, living in or near the gayborhood all his life, and receiving his business degree from University of Pennsylvania. Zac has always always been active in the gay community. He even volunteers to work on gay hot lines helping others come out and handle the issues of being gay.

Zac owns Igloo with his business partner Bill Chlebowski. Bill and Zack met at Woody’s 15 years ago and have been friends ever since. Bill has a business background from the University of Tennessee and is in charge of managing the stores on a daily basis.

PhillyGayCalendar: Why did you open a dessert place like Igloo?

Zac Parker: I worked at a Baskin Robins as a kid and I have always had a sweet tooth. When the frozen yogurt craze hit I felt like I had already lived it. I wanted to open a place with healthy frozen desserts but I was a little nervous that this was just a fad. So we extended the brand and added gelato and shakes and many more options. We are like a modern day Dairy Queen.

PGC: So why did you start in Gray’s Ferry?

ZP: Gray’s Ferry was a very under-served neighborhood. It was a big risk since there is not a lot of foot traffic, but we took a leap of faith and the neighbors really rallied around us – it was amazing.

PGC: So what is going to make Igloo different than all the rest?

ZP: We have a new offering that others don’t – Gelato Pops. This is a unique idea we are bringing straight from Italy. We worked with the city and received a grant to offer this to Philadelphia. Imagine frozen gelato pops, dipped in hard coatings like chocolate and white chocolate imported directly from Italy, and covered in toppings like nuts. Everything is home made.

PGC: I’m sure we will be seeing guys sucking on them all over the gayborhood. How else are you working with the community here?

ZP: We are teaming up with the different gyms in the area, Optimal and 12th Street etc, to have special nights and offer our Protein Shakes with fresh frozen yogurt. And we have been very lucky to have friends from all over the gay community who have volunteer to help. We couldn’t have done it without them.

This is the type of store we love. Amazing treats brought to us by active members of the gay community. Plus having snacked on the fro-yo myself, it was incredible. So get a protein shake after the gym, or stop by before you head to Woody’s for a little snack, because when the weather gets warmer, this place will be packed.

The Igloo – South of South
2223 Grays Ferry Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19146

The Igloo – Washington West
1205 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19146




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