By Nicole Nielsen

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas ice cream shop, Howdy Homemade, almost lost it all during the pandemic.

It’s run by special needs adults, all hired by shop owner, Tom Landis.

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“We hire the people that we consider are best for the hospitality industry, and those are the ones that God made most-friendly,” Landis said.

Despite being a one-of-a-kind gem in the city, Landis struggled to keep the doors open over the past year.

“The pandemic really brought us to our knees,” Landis said. “When you’re shut down it’s not that you’re not making any money, we were bleeding at that point.”

So much so, they had to move from their original location, for cheaper rent.

They were hanging on by a thread.

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But the power of social media, and the kindness of the community, saved them.

“Things kind of, when they were at their worst, they became their best,” Landis said.

Someone started a GoFundMe account as a final plea to keep the doors open.

Next thing they knew, donations totaled over $100,000 and sales went up 132%.

“I would say all of this, you just see the power of social media I mean it’s insane,” Landis said.

They’re now expanding nationally with five new locations, and creating more jobs for these incredible employees.

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“When I step out of the way and let my employees shine, no one can stop us,” Landis said.

Nicole Nielsen