Trae Tha Truth to open Katy ice cream shop that hires people with special needs

KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- Just crown Trae tha Truth the king of Houston already. Or in this case, Katy.

That's where the Houston rapper, activist and philanthropist said that he is now the franchise owner of an ice cream shop that will employ young adults with special needs.

In a slideshow on Instagram, Trae, whose real name is Frazier Othel Thompson III, shared photos of his new business, Howdy Homemade Ice Cream.



According to the website, Howdy Homemade was first designed to "see, and realize, the potential of everyone."

Founder Tom Landis and his first hire Manuel Ramirez still work together, teaming up with 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," the website reads.

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The shop says its marquee item is its Dr Pepper Chocolate Chip ice cream. And well, we know how Texans feel about their Dr Pepper.

So far, Howdy has one location in Dallas.

But the franchise is growing. It plans to open two more stores in Texas in McAllen and El Paso. Outside of the Lone Star State, Howdy will be found in Asheville, North Carolina, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The Katy location run by Trae and his business partner is set to have its grand opening at 6:30 p.m. on July 22, which is also known as Trae Day.

"We hope to change the way the world looks at everyone," Trae wrote in his Instagram caption. "The mission is to inspire and bless others with our blessings."

Trae has been open about raising a son with special needs, D'Neeko.

He explained in a podcast that D'Neeko, who will soon turn 18, was born with a cleft palate and a chromosome 13 abnormality, requiring multiple surgeries and procedures.

Trae said that he and his son's mother found out when the child was born.

"Instantly my natural reaction was just to hold him close and just protect him," Trae said.

In December 2020, Trae said his son inspired him to host a Christmas shopping spree for children with special needs and disabilities.

D'Neeko also has a charity, U'Neek and Gifted, that Trae says is focused on welcoming everyone, regardless of their different abilities.

"We value anybody's situation and anybody's case. It may be somebody that may have a walking issue or maybe somebody that just learns slower or speech or whatever the situation may be. We take everybody in," Trae told the Daddy Duty 365 podcast.

Trae added that there are a lot of families with children with disabilities who may have been scared to come forward out of fear of how people may react.

"You never know if people are going to be cruel, if people are going to laugh at them. That's a stressful situation. But I've always been my own person. I've always been my own leader," Trae said. "I just felt, man, we're going to come to the forefront with it."

Along with being vocal about family, fatherhood and music, Trae tha Truth has become known for giving back to his community.

MORE: Rapper gifts 11-member family dozens of gifts after house fire

Earlier this year, Trae and his Relief Gang hosted a food and gas giveaway that benefitted more than 250 families.

Trae and volunteers can also often be seen helping people ahead of and in the immediate aftermath of storms, whether that be through rescues or providing supplies.

Trae may also be familiar to Houstonians for another reason.

Last summer, following the murder of George Floyd, he organized a march in Houston where people turned out 60,000 strong.

Months later, Trae met with the family of murdered Fort Hood Army Specialist Vanessa Guillen to present them with a check for $30,000 ahead of their daughter's funeral.

Trae's Howdy Homemade Ice Cream shop in Katy will be located at 20920 Katy Freeway.

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