Tom Landis, founder of Howdy Homemade. (Photo By Kathy Tran)

Tom Landis, founder of Howdy Homemade, with an employee. (Photo By Kathy Tran)

If you’ve set foot in Howdy Homemade on Lovers Lane, you know its not your average ice cream shop. While it offers up classic flavors like strawberry and cookies and cream, cones and cups are served by smiling special-needs individuals who are hired to learn the trade by owner Tom Landis.

A new short film, produced by Fotolanthropy, a company founded by 2003 Lake Highlands High School graduate Katie Jenkins Norris, and Splendor Films, highlights this unique business and what it does for the community.

“The saddest thing in life to me is potential that’s never realized,” Landis says in the film, which also spotlights Coleman Jones, the business’ vice president who also has down syndrome.

“I think Howdy will be a failure if Coleman doesn’t own this business in a couple of years,” Landis adds.

Fotolanthropy is a unique production studio that encourages photographers and videographers to use their cameras to spotlight important human-interest stories. Other projects have looked at the loss of a child or surviving the physical trauma of war. Norris sells custom-made camera straps to help fund the endeavor. She premiered her own film, “The Luckiest Man,” about a local neighbor’s battle with ALS, last October at the Angelika Film Center.

See the Howdy Homemade film here.