Community members can cool off in Katy this summer with a scoop of ice cream at new business Friends Ice Cream and Coffee.

The gist

Kingsland Baptist Church completed its final piece of a two-year renovation and expansion of its special needs department with the opening of its Friends Ice Cream and Coffee, located at the northeast corner of the church’s property, according to a May 13 news release.

The shop not only brings ice cream and coffee options but also provides employment and coaching for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Special Needs Director Fred Shafer said in the release.

“Working at Friends Ice Cream and Coffee gives our adult employees with special needs a sense of purpose and accomplishment,” Shafer said. “At Kingsland, our ministry embraces and serves people with special needs and their families with the love of Jesus Christ.”

On the menu

The ice cream menu is vast with both sweet and savory scoops, including Nutella crunch, cheesecake berry and jalapeno peach cream, created by award-winning Brazilian ice cream creators Allan and Maisa Velasque, according to the release.

The menu also includes specialty coffees, smoothies and shakes.

What else?

The shop is also accompanied by the adjoining Friends Community Playground, which is open to the public Monday through Saturday. It features playground equipment, including a town with a house, school, hospital and church as well as a merry-go-round for children of all abilities, Operations Pastor JP Pruett said in a phone call.

The playground is also surrounded by interactive panels, which can be digitally activated with a smartphone, according to the release.

“We want Friends Ice Cream and Coffee and the Friends Community Playground to be a place where people of all abilities, backgrounds and cultures can enjoy community together,” Shafer said.