Heidi Ackerman was watching the Food Network’s Kid in a Candy Store when she saw owner Cora Shaw explain how iCream Cafe was born out of a grad school project.
The original iCream Cafe, which is located in Chicago, uses liquid nitrogen machines to make ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and hot pudding right before each customer’s eyes. It’s a very customizable process that kids and families love to watch. In short, it feels like a high-tech food lab where cool science projects take place.
Ackerman called Shaw and asked about franchising after she finished watching the video. “I love that you can come in, watch it being made, and get exactly what you want. And the liquid nitrogen is cool,” she says.
Now, after a lot of hard work, Ackerman is opening the first iCream Cafe store in Texas at 9250 Dallas Parkway, Suite 150. (It’s right off the Dallas North Tollway in Frisco.) The grand opening is slated for tomorrow, October 5.
The former Frisco ISD employee who worked in child nutrition is very conscientious of her little guests’ needs, and she wants to make sure all kids with allergies are given special care. She’ll sanitize any of the instruments used to make the child’s dessert and wear gloves while she’s making it. There’s also soy milk, coconut milk, and non-dairy-based sorbets for those people with lactose intolerance. And if you don’t want your ice cream too sugary, just ask.
But that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, anyway. At iCream Cafe, the green tea and hazelnut ice cream combination that I requested had an icier (as opposed to creamier) consistency, and it was surprisingly not sugary. I ate a couple bites, planned to put it down, but couldn’t help myself to a few more. This is the kind of ice cream you could eat without feeling bad about it.
There are about 28 flavors to choose from, and you can combine them however you want. Classic flavors include strawberry, pistachio, vanilla bean. Notable ones consist of curry, ginger, toasted marshmallow, and green tea. After you choose your flavor(s), Ackerman will make the ice cream using her liquid nitrogen machine, and then you pick your mix-ins and toppings.
If you don’t want ice cream, you can also get hot pudding. Choose any of the 28 flavors to make a pudding-like dessert that’s made from an espresso machine. It’s perfect for the coming winter months. Add toppings as you like. For Ackerman, this is her favorite item at the shop.