Galen Moorer Jr.’s grandmother Gwendolyn Moorer is known for singing “Oh Happy Day” by the Edwin Hawkins Singers.
When it came time for Moorer to name his ice cream store, he knew immediately what to call it.
Happy Day Dessert Factory is located on Western Avenue on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
“My grandmother is a wonderful, bright and joyful person,” Moorer said. “I chose the name because I wanted people to experience the good vibes and premium homemade ice cream and other treats we have to offer.”
Moorer, 21, had been thinking about opening his own shop since he was 17 years old. His father, Galen Moorer Sr., owned a Rita’s Italian Ice franchise on the North Side. The younger Moorer said he enjoyed making the tasty treats.
“I was born into this business,” he said.
The store opened at a challenging time — March 2020, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. It was takeout only from the start.
“We have made the best of a bad situation,” Moorer said. I am just happy that we are open. Obviously with the current social climate we are not experiencing the level of business we had hoped or planned for, but we have still received an extremely positive response.”
Jordon Rooney, founder and CEO of the branding agency Built Different Creative, is a Happy Day customer and fan. Seeing that Moorer might need assistance promoting his business, he reached out to offer his services.
Rooney, 31, a New Castle native who lives in Pittsburgh’s South Side, proposed creating two new flavors with a twist: They could be marketed through two individuals with a vast social media presence.
The first flavor, Cookie$ and Crème, is named for Will Dzombak, the CEO of Taylor Gang — a management and production company and record label co-owned by Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa. Dzombak is Khalifa’s manager.
“Wiz is so incredibly smart and thoughtful and has a love for Pittsburgh,” said Dzombak, 32, who grew up in Point Breeze and lives in Downtown Pittsburgh. “Young people look up to athletes, but we want the musicians to be role models too. We have a responsibility to check on one another. And everybody loves ice cream.”
Dzombak’s Cookie$ and Crème has yellow food coloring and chocolate swirls for a black and yellow look – a nod to Khalifa’s song “Black and Yellow.”
A second flavor – French Vanilla — has a hint of light blue food coloring. It was inspired by rapper James “Fedd The God” Fedd, whose signature attire has a light blue hue. The 27-year-old North Side native who lives in Tarentum collaborated with Khalifa on “Yea Yup!”, a song that was released Saturday.
“It’s about giving back,” said Fedd, who was at the store on Saturday with his mom.
“This is really exciting,” said his mom, Monica Jackson-Cobb of Bellevue. “I never thought my son would have an ice cream flavor named after him.”
Rooney said the goal is to get exposure for Moorer’s business and coach him on branding. He said he is focusing his resources on building momentum for businesses emerging from the pandemic, and handled all of the marketing costs for this venture.
“Galen is cool. Ice cream is cool,” Rooney said. “It is about shining a positive light.”
Happy Day Dessert Factory makes everything in-house, from the ice cream to waffle cones to cookies and brownies. They also sell funnel cakes and soft pretzels. The shop has 50 flavors of hard ice cream, from banana cream pie to chocolate chip cookie dough, as well as frozen soft custard and frozen yogurt. The non-dairy and vegan options include almond milk soft serve and water ices in five flavors.
Moorer said he will see how the two new flavors sell. If they do well, he most likely will make more.
“This is so exciting to be partnering with these guys,” Moorer said. “I really appreciate what they are doing for me.”
Happy Day Dessert Factory is located at 906A Western Ave. on the North Side.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, email@example.com or via Twitter .
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