Coming this spring to University Place is a home-grown ice cream company.
Sisters Theresa Fouquette and Stacie Leaf will open their Bliss Small Batch Creamery this spring in the Village at Chambers Bay in the same complex as Whole Foods.
This is the first food-based business for both. Fouquette was in search of a next career after she and her family sold a company they had started.
Leaf will continue managing a jewelry store while the sisters start their business making small batches of ice cream.
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In an unusual move for a new company, the sisters have signed up for UberEats to sell their $10 pints to the public before their cafe opens.
Opening a scoop shop grew out of a high school job. Both sisters worked at a Baskin-Robbins and found the experience as rewarding as any jobs they’ve performed as adults.
“Nobody ever left unhappy. It was a great job,” said Fouquette.
Making ice cream for a living started as a series of conversations and eventually became a full-fledged business plan.
They bought a food trailer so they could serve their ice cream at events. They leased a Fircrest commercial kitchen space where they make their ice cream. That kitchen will house their ice cream making even after they open the retail scoop shop in University Place.
That cafe will be about 1,000 square feet and outfitted in an industrial-vintage motif, said Fouquette.
The shop is going into the same new building under construction that will eventually hold a Qdoba. Their cafe will face Bridgeport Way West.
Every day, they’ll offer 24 regular ice cream flavors made from a dairy base and eight more made with a coconut base that will be friendly to vegans and dairy-free dessert eaters.
Those ice creams and dairy-free desserts will be displayed so that visitors get closeup looks of the different flavors, which include seasonal ice creams such as eggnog gingersnap and dark chocolate peppermint. Ice cream regularly offered will include mint chip, salted caramel, lemon ginger poppy seed, sweet blackberry and espresso chocolate chip.
Vegan flavors will range from pistachio nut to chocolate and peach-mango.
In addition to scooped ice cream, they’ll sell ice cream novelties, such as ice cream sandwiches and customized ice cream cakes.
Fouquette described their ice cream as a handmade product using an ice cream base from the Snoqualmie Ice Cream company. Fouquette said using the pre-made base meant they would not have to pasteurize their own product, a process they wanted to skip. They also selected that base because it is all-natural with no artificial flavors.
“Everything we use, even the decorations, we’re using things that have natural food dyes, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives,” said Fouquette.
Skipping artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup winds all the way down their supply chain and includes flavor add-ins. For example, instead of using Oreo cookies, made with artificial flavoring, they’re using an all-natural cookie from Whole Foods in their ice cream.
Seattle-based India Tree provides their all-natural cake decorations. They’ll look to local farms for fruits and other flavor add-ins.
The base of their ice cream contains about 19 percent butterfat.
“We have a 24-quart batch freezer. We’re not (whipping) much air in there at all so it stays nice and creamy. Our settings allow us to do what we want,” Fouquette said. “We can do gelato. We’re hoping to do some sherbets coming up. You don’t see many people doing sherbets anymore.”