There are 24 tempting flavors of ice cream on display at the ice cream parlor in “downtown” Hilton Village. “There are 50 flavors in storage,” says Will Auman, co-owner, along with the other owners Megan, Will’s wife, and long-time friends, Candice and Steven Carpenter.
“We began the business in 2014 selling popsicles at outdoor events,” Will says. “We packed coolers with dry ice and sold as many as 1,000 popsicles at larger festivals. We had some unique flavors, such as watermelon basil and cucumber lime. The fun part was making the popsicles in my basement in Hilton.”
The Creamery is now focused on ice cream (Hershey’s). “We plan to include popsicles this summer,” says Will. “Our most popular flavors are — you guessed it — vanilla and chocolate. Coming in third place is ‘cappuccino crunch.’ My favorite is ‘cookie butter craze’,” Auman says with a smile.
The Aumans and the Carpenters have been friends since high school. “We always had an entrepreneurial spirit and planned to open a business one day,” Auman says. The couples usually vacation together and first saw the uniquely flavored popsicles in Florida. They developed their own recipes and gradually built the business.
“We spent a year getting ready to open the business,” says Auman. The space had to be gutted. Then there were licenses and inspections, of course.” Opening day was February 5, 2022. Employees are high school and college students. “We are now looking for more locations. Hopefully, we can open two additional locations in the next 18 months.”
Auman has worked at Smithfield Foods for 16 years as a senior business manager. He spends late afternoons at the Creamery three or four times a week. “I’m supposedly the ‘fun boss,’” he says, smiling. None of the owners works fulltime at the Creamery. They all have other careers. Megan is principal at an elementary school in Newport News. Steven Carpenter is a police officer for the City of Hampton and his wife, Candice, manages a hair salon.
Both couples now live in Poquoson. They still vacation together, recently spending a week at Smith Mountain Lake in the Roanoke region of Virginia.
Auman was born in Newport News and has a degree in business and marketing from Christopher Newport University. “I was mainly interested in baseball and now I help coach my son. My daughter plays T-ball.” When he can find time, Auman enjoys fishing and playing golf. He handles the financials for the business.
Megan was born in Ohio and grew up in Poquoson. She has a degree in communications from James Madison University. She also has a master’s degree in teaching from Christopher Newport University and an advanced degree in education from Old Dominion University.
Steven Carpenter has been with the Hampton City Police for 18 years. At the Creamery he is the “repairman.”
Candice has worked in local salons since her teens. She handles ordering supplies, staffing and scheduling for the business.
Looking ahead, the two couples are considering some new ideas for 2023. They have had some requests to participate in various events — possibly weddings. “The Hilton Village community has been very supportive,” adds Auman. “I have the equipment to print T-shirts. And, we are looking into social media. We may introduce ‘Crazy Pops Gourmet Popsicles.’”
The Aumans and Carpenters agree that ice cream is good anytime of year, and The Creamery is ready to serve all of those tempting flavors every day.
TO THE POINT:
The Hilton Creamery
Address: 10349 Warwick Blvd., Newport News VA 23601
Owners: Will and Megan Auman,
Steven and Candice Carpenter