Molly Neitzel's mini empire of frozen delights continues to expand, including a recent move into a bright and airy headquarters and an even more recent move into the music industry, launching Mooncrew Records last month. But first: ice cream.
Marking summer's impending arrival, Molly Moon's Columbia City location (4822 Rainier Ave South) debuts on Friday, June 2. What was once home to Subway sandwich artists, now houses mooncrew members serving up art in the form of frozen sweets. Here, the renovation involved more than a coat of paint: the original door location has changed and, like the Redmond Molly Moon's, there's a full on-view kitchen, where you can watch your favorite ice cream and toppings being made.
This is the southernmost Molly Moon's location, but Neitzel didn't just want to get into to just any place. "I wanted to hold out for one of those really cute spots in one of the historic buildings on Rainier," Neitzel says, and that she did. The latest Molly Moon's will serve, as always, the 10 mainstay flavors, plus four rotating seasonal ones, like the new strawberry shortcake complete with chunks of red strawberries. On opening day, kids scoops are free for children 12 and under from 3 to 5, then it's all regular hours from there on out: noon to 11pm daily.
In other excitement, Mooncrew Records, a small, in-house, vinyl-only record label for Molly Moon's employees aka mooncrew, debuted in April. Neitzel is not only a longtime lover of music, she's been in the biz since running the political nonprofit Music for America. Before that, she knows all too well about the importance of music workplace vibes. "When I had worked in an ice cream shop in college, our boss would let us choose the music; it was one of the things I loved the most about where I worked."
Now, one of the things Eric Anderson, a mooncrew member with the longest tenure, loves most about where he works: His band Cataldo's new record and fifth album Keepers is sold at all eight Molly Moon's.
As for the new Molly Moon's HQ on Capitol Hill, which Neitzel describes as a "pretty, fun, happy, ice cream-y space" is exactly that. It's where behind-the-scenes employees work amongst a multicolored staircase, posters of ice cream, and gold foil balloons that spell "be generous." Beyond a workspace, it also doubles as a venue where Molly Moon's pastry chefs can teach topping and ice cream making classes or even host others' dessert or craft workshops like floral design. There's a fully stocked kitchen with a forthcoming lemon-yellow Smeg fridge—function and nostalgia frill.
If this is what a Molly Moon's takeover looks like, we're all for it.