There’s nothing cooler than 501 LIFE

Creating a new product each month for readers in 11 counties ensures a hectic schedule, so I find our cover photo shoots to be a welcome outing from my seated and standing desks — especially the one for this month’s cover.

On a hot August afternoon, Photo Director Mike Kemp and I met at Loblolly Creamery in the SoMa historic district of Little Rock. Luckily for me, I had been to the relaxing shop before when I wrote about the ESSE Purse Museum & Store, which is located nearby. Standing in front of a large cooler and choosing which ice cream flavor you want is sure to bring a smile to your face. 

Behind the cooler with Loblolly Creamery staff, Editor Stefanie Brazile is ready to scoop some Little Rock-y Road. Freshawn Womack (from left), Owner Sally Mengel, Brazile, Mira Hatcher and Salem Fuller.

As I visited with co-owners Sally Mengel and her mother, Dr. Laura Frankenstein (whose name also brought a smile to my face), I learned that their ice cream store was named for the state tree — a loblolly pine.

The ladies procure ingredients from orchards, farms, a coffee house and even a distillery in the 501 to create signature offerings, in addition to the many cold, creamy favorites one would expect.

Sally and Laura are makers who founded a business in Central Arkansas which qualified their yummy product to be the focus of the cover of our “Made in the 501” themed issue. Publisher Jeremy Higginbotham and I are so excited about an original flavor they have curated and named for our magazine. Turn to page 26 for a big surprise!

Our art feature is as unique as 501 LIFE flavored ice cream. We bring you “The Art of Communication” and its representative — the one and only Craig O’Neill, who has been described as the “voice of Arkansas.”

Born Randy Hankins, the Little Rock Central High School graduate was a radio deejay from 1972 until 2000. Then, he took his communication skills on camera. Nowadays, he is passionate about his Reading Roadtrip segments, where he travels to schools to read to children and hopefully ignite a lifetime passion for books and magazines. I support that effort.

Whether you are “Made in the 501” or a transplant like me, you’re sure to learn something new and find several articles in this edition that will make you smile, too.

Stefanie Brazile