The Shop: Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Probably the most iconic shop in the Seattle area, especially because of the adorable dog logo, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream is a definite crowd pleaser.
The most popular, and my favorite, flavor, Salted Caramel, sits alongside other locally-inspired flavors. Melted Chocolate is made with Theo’s Chocolate, a local Seattle chocolate maker (we recommend stopping by their factory in Fremont where you can sample all 20 or so flavors). The Union Coffee flavor, using coffee from a local coffee shop owned by Molly’s husband, is a must-try for coffee lovers. And Scout Mint is made from thousands of Thin Mint cookies bought from local girl scouts. These are some of our recommended flavors; they also generally have four rotating seasonal flavors that are nice to try.
Seattle in general likes local, organic, sustainable businesses, but Molly Moon’s truly embraces this, and probably helped lead the way. They source 90% of their ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, and the milk and cream come from local farms and are hormone and antibiotic-free. Everything they use in the shop is 100% compostable. And according to their website, all of their monthly energy consumption is powered by clean, renewable energy. Pretty impressive!
Molly does have a cookbook out, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. I haven’t had the chance to purchase and try it out yet, but it gets great reviews. I checked out a few recipes online, and they’re all Philadelphia-style (meaning no egg yolks), and no emulsifiers, so they should be quite simple to make. The ice cream in their shop is 19% butterfat, definitely putting it into the “Superpremium” category.
I had the chance to go to a cooking class at one of the shops in Seattle, where we learned a few different recipes. Molly told us a very funny and interesting story. For the Balsamic Strawberry flavor, they used to receive their strawberries from the farm with the green tops removed. They had to switch suppliers, and the new strawberries came with the green tops still attached. For a while they cut the tops off, but it was too time consuming. So they tried just leaving the tops on, since the strawberries are blended anyway. It worked great with no taste difference! The only problem? On occasion, a small green piece shows up in the ice cream. It just goes to show, it pays to be creative with your ice cream.
So what’s not to love? I personally often find the staff not to be particularly friendly. This is a bit disappointing, especially because I like to sample every flavor.
The good: Great ice cream, nice variety of flavors, sustainable practices
The not-so-good: Not all flavors are standout, sometimes unfriendly staff
Insider tip: Salted Caramel plus Hot Fudge is a winning combination
Fun fact: The company logo is modeled after Molly’s dog