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Not raising prices will pay off, says owner of Goodie’s Frozen Custard and Treats in Old Town

The long, hot summer makes for perfect frozen custard weather… if the price is right.

Despite inflation taking hold of gas, groceries and retail outlets, Goodie’s Frozen Custard and Treats (200 Commerce Street) in Old Town never raised its prices.

Owner Brandon Byrd reopened the shop in May after a customary winter break. He says that customers need a break from the price increases in their lives and a place to escape.

Customers can still get frozen custard, rum cake, cinnamon rolls and doughnuts for the same price as always. The shop sells one flavor of Wisconsin-style custard — vanilla — and customers choose from a myriad of toppings for $8 to $10.

“I feel like if you’re getting squeezed from every corner, whether it’s going out to eat, whether it’s buying groceries, buying gas, traveling, daycare, you can come over here and know it’s going to be amazing and that you’re going to get a fair price for it,” Byrd told ALXnow.

Founded as a food truck in 2012, Goodie’s opened its brick-and-mortar location in the 1930s-era ice house at 200 Commerce Street last summer.

The shop was also recently named one of the top 40 ice cream shops in the country by Thrillist.

ALXnow: Congrats on your recent accolade, being named one of the top 40 ice cream shops in the country. How does it feel?

Byrd: There’s a little over 11,000 ice cream shops in the nation. That’s huge, right? We’re probably the newest ice cream/frozen custard brand in the City of Alexandria, and to bring those type of accolades to the city, I think is a major milestone accomplishment.

I’m very happy to be here and Alexandria, I think that this location complements the goodies brand exceptionally well and it’s just a blessing to be here.

ALXnow: You didn’t raise prices due to inflation. How did the summer go? 

Byrd: Without it doubt it had an impact on the bottom line. But I think you balance it out by saying that those folks who supported us since day one will appreciate the fact that our prices stayed the same, even though everywhere else they go in Old Town they are paying 20% or 30% more.

ALXnow: You look thinner. Did you lose some weight?

Byrd: That’s a good question. Yeah, this year I made a point to be more active. The reality of it is that as you get older you realize that you’re not gonna live indefinitely. I’m raising my two nieces, and I gotta stay around to make sure that they understand the mission in front of them to carry on the legacy of Goodie’s or start their own businesses.

ALXnow: Coming out of the pandemic, we got hit with inflation. How is the flow of customers?

Byrd: I do think that people have been more price conscious now. Am I experiencing the exact same numbers as last year? No, but am I still seeing that folks still want to come and have a pleasant experience? Definitely.

The reality is that gas prices are high, utilities are high, groceries are high, everything’s high, but they can go to a place that’s a throwback to yesteryear, where they can still experience that same price point, and have a phenomenal experience with the product. I feel like if you’re getting squeezed from every corner, whether it’s going out to eat, whether it’s buying groceries, buying gas, traveling, daycare, you can come over here and know it’s going to be amazing and that you’re going to get a fair price for it.

ALXnow: When does the frozen custard season end in Alexandria?

Byrd: Usually around the holidays in November or December, when it gets cold. We reopen in the spring.

ALXnow: Are you open Labor Day weekend?

Byrd: We are, and we’ll be hosting a neighborhood barbecue on Labor Day, from noon to 2 p.m. with hotdogs, chips, beverages, and, of course, frozen custard.

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