Update: Last summer I had the pleasure of spending the day with Hank Wiggins. He was by far one of my favorite interviews and I could have spent all day listening to his stories. Sadly, according to the Houston Chronicle, Wiggins died Dec. 31 at Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. He had been there since falling and injuring his spinal cord in May. His heart finally gave out Saturday. He was 74. May his life live on through his "flavor" of life.
Hank Wiggins became an ice cream lover early on when he was growing up in Carwell, Texas, helping his mom in her café.
But Wiggins says it didn't become a career path until an awful incident at another ice cream shop, later on.
"I waited in line to place my order, I had some papers in my hand, so he said I'm not taking no applications, may I help you sir. And this kind of caught me off guard and I decided, I'll make my own ice cream."
25 years later, Wiggins is scooping up ice cream and inspiration to Houstonians at his own shop, Hank's Ice Cream. Located in the shadow of Reliant, off of South Main St., he offers over 100 flavors. Everything from his classic butter pecan, to more daring flavors like sweet corn. So how did he come up with that? Simple: "Well I was trying to get rid of the corn and develop a flavor."
It tastes just like sweet corn, even with a hint of pepper.
People from across the state travel to Hank's just to get a taste of that sweet satisfaction. In fact, Beyonce and her " Destiny's Child" crew grew up going to Hank's and still stop in. Wiggins says Beyonce's favorite flavor is chocolate.
So now looking back at that terrible insult, Wiggins says it truly was a blessing in disguise. "Because I've never been happier in my life and working than doing what I'm doing today. So I thank this young man wherever he is, I thank him."
And once you take one lick of Hank's ice cream, you'll be thanking him too.
Online Dish: Legendary Ice Cream Man Hank Wiggins, Serving Up Flavor and Inspiration, Passes Away
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