The Howdy Story

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We're all about two things: amazing ice cream and even better people. We hope to change the way the world looks at everyone.

Howdy Homemade was founded on a steel conviction that the restaurant industry is about people first, then food. It's a belief that has stood the test of time -- almost two decades -- and helped open 13 restaurants. In an industry marred by tremendous turnover, Tom still works with his first
hire, Manuel Ramirez.

Howdy Homemade was born out of a vision to see, and realize, the potential of everyone. A special thanks to Gene Stallings' book, Another Season, and Proverbs, for igniting this passion.

Tom and Manuel have worked with numerous special needs organizations to hire, train and employ people with Down Syndrome and Autism. Every aspect of Howdy Homemade encompasses the special needs of the huge under-employed segment of our population with one goal: To change the way businesses hire people with special needs. Today in North Texas alone, there are over 240,000 Special Needs Adults looking for work!

The name Howdy is a tribute to Gene Stallings, Bear Bryant and every underdog out there. And our marquee item, the world's first Dr Pepper Chocolate Chip ice cream, appeals to every Texan young and old. We're huge Dr Pepper fans. And not only because we've sold more than 12,000,000 Dr Peppers over the past two decades. Dr Pepper is the Title Sponsor of The Gene Stallings Coaches Award. Dr Pepper has done more to help the special needs community than any other corporation and we want to honor this company with our company. We truly are one of a kind Peppers!

The Howdy Pillars

  • God
  • Family
  • Co-workers
  • Customers
  • Self

Speaking Engagements

Tom is a sought-after, highly energetic speaker on the topics of inclusion, special needs and creative thinking. He's appeared in People Magazine and many other publications, and is the recipient of many awards, including:

2001 LULAC Businessman of the Year
2002 Center for non-profit Businessman of the Year
Two-time Texan of the Year finalist
2015 Ryan Albers Lifetime Achievement Award
2016 Lex Friedan Texas Small Business of the Year