Call Bliss Small Batch Creamery a reverse restaurant story.
The traditional story usually starts with a restaurant expanding from its storefront to UberEats delivery, but this ice cream company did the opposite.
Sisters Theresa Fouquette and Stacie Leaf began their ice cream company with a private production facility, UberEats and a mobile trailer.
Their fall 2017 launch wasn’t exactly during the height of the ice cream season, but that didn’t deter the sisters who have dreamed about opening an ice cream shop with their own handmade ice creams since they worked at a Baskin-Robbins in high school.
They steadily built a following through ice cream delivery and dishing up scoops from their traveling trailer at community events.
Then summer hit and they expanded again with the addition of more mobile units.
But they had even bigger dreams — their very own scoop shop.
Just in time for their second chilly fall, they finally opened that storefront the first week of October in University Place.
“It feels great to have a home where people can come and visit us,” said Fouquette. Contrary to conventional thinking, she said she’s finding ice cream is an all-season food. Business has been good.
The sisters opened with 32 flavors in the case and have expanded that selection already. Right now, they offer 24 daily ice creams and 11 dairy-free ice creams (attention, vegans).
The company also has struck up partnerships with local food companies, including sourcing its honey from University Place honey company Honey’s Healthy Hive. That company’s honey flavors the shop’s Honey Lavender and Honey Vanilla ice creams.
Fouquette said one of their opening flavors was inspired by Crumbly Bits, a Tacoma baking company.
“They sell at the farmers market, that’s how we found them,” said Fouquette.
The sisters fell in love with the Crumbly Bits apple-pear-ginger crumble and wanted to incorporate it into an ice cream flavor.
“We made our ice cream base with cardamom, and we folded the crumble into the ice cream, it is really yummy,” she said of Bliss’s Cardamom Apple Pear ice cream.
However, that particular seasonal flavor leaves the menu around mid-November, right about the time the scoop shop holds its grand opening celebration starting at 3 p.m. Nov. 14.
Also exiting the menu will be the dreamy Pumpkin Cheesecake seasonal flavor, Maple Walnut and the Ghost Licorice, which is a white licorice flavor.
The good news is that when the fall seasonals exit, winter flavors enter. Fouquette is working on several new combinations, but already knows that two favorite seasonal flavors from last winter will return. Around mid-November, she’ll bring back Eggnog Gingersnap, made with an eggnog-flavored base embedded with crushed gingersnaps, and a Dark Chocolate Peppermint.
Here’s a first-bite look:
The space: 25 seats in a well-laid out dining room with room for small groups. Order at the counter and take your time. Free samples are given at the asking. The ice cream counter lines the length of the space with all flavors on display through a glass case. Pints also available for sale.
Opening menu: Dairy ice cream choices included Cardamom Apple Pear, Candied Maple Walnut, Southern Butter Pecan, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Sweet Blackberry, Honey Lavender, Honey Vanilla, Lemon Ginger Poppyseed, Sour Cherry Amaretto, Sunbutter Crunch, Fudgy Brownie, Bubblegum, Pistachio Nut, Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies, Salted Butter Caramel, Mint Chip, Cookie Monster, Espresso Chip, Cookie Butter, Rocky Road, Peanut Butter Bliss, Peanut Butter ‘n Chocolate, Blueberry Pie, Ghost Licorice.
Dairy-free flavors: The opening menu of dairy-free ice creams included Cookies ‘n Cream, Cookie Butter, S’Mores, Bumbleberry Crisp, Sour Cherry Amaretto, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter ‘N Jelly, Fudgy Brownie.
Ice cream particulars: That creamy ice cream is made from a Snoqualmie Ice Cream Co. base made with about 19 percent butterfat. Dairy-free ice creams use a coconut base.
Prices: $3 for kids cups/cones, $5 regular, $7 large. Housemade waffle cone, $1 extra.
Ingredient details: Natural colors account for the vivid blues, oranges and yellows. Turmeric, annatto and spirulina are among the list of natural food dyes used.
Critic’s picks: Don’t miss the dairy version of Fudgy Brownie with rivers of chocolate and brownie chunks embedded in chocolate ice cream. Cookie Monster had a ratio of ice cream to cookies that skewed heavily toward crushed cookies. Bonus points for that. Pumpkin Cheesecake was everything you want a pumpkin spice flavor to deliver, plus the added bonus of cheesecake. I appreciated the spicy and chewy crystallized ginger pieces that studded the Lemon Ginger Poppyseed ice cream.
Coming next: Ice cream cakes, ice cream cookie sandwiches, novelties and more. The Nov. 14 grand opening will include a drawing for free ice cream for a year.