Andrew Hagee and his wife are big Din Tai Fung fans. So much so, that the Kent/Auburn-based couple would visit the University Village location for those luscious soup dumplings damn near weekly—sometimes two to three times a week. Their post-dinner treat: Molly Moon's. "The smell of that waffle cone sucks you in every time." When Din Tai Fung opened a fourth location in Tukwila, the Hagees' dumpling commute was shorter, but sadly devoid of Molly Moon's ice cream and its waffle cone wafts.
So Hagee, along with his business partner Gino Judd, are opening an ice cream shop of their own, as you do. Cloud Nine Creamery is no Molly Moon's though. The shop will be making ice cream creations with liquid nitrogen and doing so—to Hagee's delight—right next to Din Tai Fung in Southcenter.
Cloud Nine Creamery will be taking over a former hair salon space, where there will be nary a barber's chair in sight. Instead, the decor will skew a little wacky, very fun, and slightly amusement park–esque in its commitment to theme. A custom door made to look like a lab beaker will lead into the shop, where mixing machines will churn liquid nitrogen ice cream behind big floor-to-ceiling glass walls, kids and adults can don lab coats and snap a photo at Cloud Nine's selfie station. "I'm like a little kid. I'm a big Disneyland fan—I just got back from Disneyland," Hagee gushes. "I don't want someone to just come get ice cream, I want it to be an experience."
Come this winter—some time in December or January, guesses Hagee—the Cloud Nine Creamery experience will mean liquid nitrogen ice cream flavors such as brownie, banana cream pie, New York–style Cheesecake, all of which will be baked daily then brought into the ice cream shop. The aforementioned baked goods will be blended up with a cream base and hit with liquid nitrogen to create the "creamiest of the creamy" desserts. Hagee and Judd learned this food science technique thanks for Wenatchee's Rob Kennedy, who has an ice cream shop of his own and sells luxury ice cream machinery ideal for liquid nitrogen use.
Beyond fun flavors, Hagee will be getting a little nostalgic with the menu. "When I was growing up, my grandma always took me to McDonald's and we would get fries and ice cream." So, soon you, too, can get order ice cream with a basket of fries on the side.
Stay tuned for more news, like the company's nonprofit element as well as its newfangled waffle cone–like vessel that's currently in development. And for more immediate progress updates, follow along Cloud Nine's Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter page.