Friday, September 12, 2014

Help us save the bee!

There’s something so sweet & simple about good honey and cream together! We are buzzing over our newest seasonal flavor, wild honey. We started with some really delicious wildflower honey from Shipwreck Honey in West Seattle. Daniel Sullivan, owner and beekeeper of Shipwreck, says the secret is keeping the bees happy and giving them space to do their thing. “Happy bees is a happy honey,” he says.

Happy, healthy bees are hugely important to the health of the planet. For instance, bees pollinate SO many of the foods we eat – from fruits and vegetables, to coconut and coffee plants. There’s been a lot of buzz about something called colony collapse disorder. We don't know exactly what's causing the disappearance of honey bees, but we do know that we need to find a way to help them out.

We are partnering with GloryBee to support their Save the Bee campaign. Funds raised for this campaign go directly to the Oregon State University Honey Bee Lab, where researchers study bee health and bee nutrition.

Come in today for a scoop of honey ice cream (or any flavor!) – we’ll be donating all the profits from today’s sales to help save the bees!

Friday, September 5, 2014

One scoop at a time - Zamzam & Kiersten

Blogger's note: This post is part of our series, "Making the World Better One Scoop at a Time" where we highlight all the awesome things our people are doing to make our community, and the world, a better place.

Today we're featuring Zamzam (L) and Kiersten (R). Zamzam and Kiersten both hope their future careers will help other people - Zamzam is going to school to become a physician assistant, and Kiersten is a sociology major who wants to go into the Peace Corps after graduating.

Q & A with Zamzam - Scooper in Madrona 

: We hear you're studying to be a physician assistant. That’s so cool! What made you want to do that?

Zamzam: I want to become a physician assistant because it's a field where I don't have to go through years of medical school, and just need health care experience and a bachelors in a science background. The great thing about it is that I can jump from field to field and work with any kind of doctor. The best thing is that I can always go back to the physician and ask anything and rely on the physician whenever needed. I've always seen myself working at a hospital and never really knew what kind of doctor I wanted to be because I always wanted to become a neurosurgeon, a pediatrician, and work in so many other fields because science is hard work but so interesting to me. Also, I get to help make people feel better!

mm's: Where are you at with your studies?
Zamzam: I am going into my second year of college and finishing mostly all my prereqs at Seattle Central and then will transfer to University of Washington to finish school and then enroll in the PA program they have at the U.

mm's: What are your hopes and dreams for your future?
Zamzam: My hopes and dreams for my future are to be involved in people's daily life and helping them, and one of the ways I know I can do that is by becoming a physician assistant.

Q & A with Kiersten - Scooper in U Village

mm's: Your coworkers say you're pretty awesome to work with, what do you think about that?
Kiersten: That makes me feel fantastic! I strive to create a healthy, fun work environment where everyone feels like part of the team. In order to run the show in such a busy location it’s extremely important that my coworkers feel comfortable and have direction. One of my favorite ways of helping out my coworkers is giving them small tips and tricks that make a huge difference in efficiency and presentation. I call them “Molly Moon pro-tips” as they are things I have learned from my more experienced cohorts through out my time working here. I am elated to hear that I am appreciated by such a great team of amazing people.

mm's: We hear you like to volunteer to help out your coworkers with making chocolate milkshakes. Are they hard to make or something?
Kiersten: This question makes me giggle. Sometimes the chocolate ice cream can be very hard to scoop let alone hand spin into a milkshake. I consider myself pretty good at making milkshakes so it’s always nice to lend a helping hand since it can be a bit of a pain. And I actually enjoy it! It’s nice to concentrate on making something really good for a customer. The sheer look of joy on the customer’s face when I had them my little piece is art is very rewarding.

mm's: Do you have any hobbies/interests/projects that you enjoy when not working?

I attend Seattle University where I am currently getting my degree in Sociology. I enjoy learning and try to soak up as much information as possible. Since I study Sociology, I spend a lot of time reading online articles and watching documentaries that do with different cultures and current affairs. I find people fascinating and actually spend a decent amount of time chatting with a variety of homeless people in Capitol Hill. It’s apparent that these people do not have many others to confide in or vent to, so being there for them if only for a few minutes is extremely important to me. We are all humans trying to make it in this world and everyone deserves the time of day.

mm's: What are your hopes/dreams for the future?

Kiersten: After I graduate, I hope to join the Peace Corps where I can actively put my acquired skills to work. Making a difference in even just one person’s life is so gratifying – I truly feel it is my calling as I have been blessed with the opportunities and resources most people will never have. A big dream I hope to accomplish is starting a non-profit tutoring and day care center for urban single mothers who need the extra help in order to provide for their family. In the end, I just wish to have a career in which I can make a difference and lend a helping hand to others.

Friday, August 29, 2014

summer preservation society!


This year we are honoring our region's most fruitful season by preserving the best and brightest ingredients, and with them we hope to preserve a little bit of summer, too!

The hard job of making this happen fell to Ian, our head chef. He found the very best farms, ordered almost 400 pounds of fruit and root, and orchestrated a massive effort by our culinary team to capture the flavors of summer in a lot of quart-sized Weck Jars. And thus, the molly moon’s summer preservation society was formed.

Ian started with strawberry pink peppercorn jam, made with June-bearing strawberries from Viva Farms. (Viva is a farm incubator that we love & started working with this year - they help farmers get their start with small plots of land, equipment, marketing, and start-up loans.) Next up was candied ginger (to make that much-loved flavor, ginger ice cream), made with organic ginger from Hawaii. And finally, preserved peaches. This was Ian's first time preserving peaches, so he started with the best - yellow-flesh Sweet Dream peaches from Tiny's Organic in East Wenatchee.

We'll be scooping ginger ice cream, made with all this house-candied ginger root, in September. The strawberry pink peppercorn jam will be featured on a sundae this winter, and we'll bring out the peaches for spiced peach ice cream in January or February.

In addition to our house-preserved goods, we'll also be using Ayako & Family Jam, a not-too-sweet, plum jam that Molly herself is addicted to. Made with amazing, organic Damson plums from Mair Farm-Taki outside of Yakima, this tasty treat will be featured on a sundae in early December!

Ian says he can't wait to figure out the spiced peach ice cream. "We're going to pull 'em out, puree 'em, add spices and then make some really good ice cream." He punctuates his confidence with his characteristic thumbs up and a slow nod of his head.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

a tour of our organic lavender farm

in the spring of 2008, i had a great time looking up all the organic farmers in western washington that i could work with to make my first ice cream flavors.  right after i perfected my salted caramel recipe, and just before i tried my hand at reducing balsamic vinegar for balsamic strawberry, i settled on a recipe that i really felt embodied local in the pacific northwest: honey lavender.  i was using the gorgeous wildflower honey from Tahuya River Apiaries, and found the perfect, organic culinary lavender at Purple Haze Lavender Farm in Sequim, Washington.  we've been using that same recipe, and that same lavender for more than six years, but i hadn't gotten a chance to visit the farm until this summer. how sad is that?!

so last month, Ian Willa, the head chef here at molly moon's, and i headed out to Purple Haze to visit with Vickie, the farm's general manager, see the farm, and talk about how much lavender we'll need as a company in 2015.  we've gotten to be so big that Vickie let us know this year that we need to start giving he a rough annual number of pounds of lavender so they can plant extra plants for us if they need to, in order to make sure we'll have enough of the beautiful little florets all year long.

Ian did the math based on this year's trend, and we told Vickie we'd like about 150 pounds of lavender.  thinking about how light and fluffy lavender is, that seems like a crazy amount!  it also feels good that we've become such a reliable demand for this farm.  they produce about 250 pounds of lavender all year -- and we buy sixty percent of it!

i had a great time learning a little more about lavender and the history of the farm.  did you know lavender is kind of its own natural pesticide?  so its one of the easiest kinds of farms to convert to organic... so cool!

also, you can rent the sweet little farmhouse on the Purple Haze farm for family getaways or business retreats.  how fun would that be?  i'd love to make big, communal meals with the herbs d' provence mix in their farm store and then lounge in the yard with glasses of rosé and mini-scoops of fresh honey lavender ice cream.

Ian and I had fun trying out the u-pick lavender experience & brought some home for our coworkers. not a bad way to spend a monday!

Friday, August 15, 2014

One scoop at a time - Andrew & Ceiara

Blogger's note: This post is part of our summer series, "Making the World Better One Scoop at a Time" where we highlight all the awesome things our people are doing to make our community, and the world, a better place.

Today we're featuring Andrew (L) and Ceiara (R). Andrew is making the world better as a writer and actor for a boundary-pushing new theater company, and Ceiara is making the world better one person at a time - as a hard-working and devoted mom to her four-year-old-daughter!

Q & A with Andrew - Scooper in Capitol Hill 

mm's: Word on the street is you're pretty involved with a local theater group. Tell us more?
Andrew: I work with a theater company called The Horse in Motion. It was founded last autumn by peers of mine from the University of Washington. I was brought on in November as a company member and actor. I also serve as the co-outreach director for the company. We did our first show this past April and have tentative plans for next year in the works. The company seeks to make theater more engaging by performing more experimental and abstract pieces that challenge the audience. Many of us are recent college graduates who studied various areas of performance and production. Our goal with The Horse in Motion was to do theater in Seattle like it had never been done before.

mm's: What are some recent productions you've done?
Andrew: Our first show was "Attempts on Her Life," written by Martin Crimp. The play’s theatrical style is called “In-Yer-Face-Theatre” and essentially means that the work is meant to be highly engaging for the audience through means both shocking and confrontational. The play was about a woman named Anne who never appeared on stage. Our only impression of Anne was various scenes in which people simply spoke about her or spoke for her. The audience was left with a vague impression of Anne as descriptions of her ranged greatly from scene to scene. In one scene she was a mother, in another a terrorist, in another a girl of the third world. The play was performed at University Heights across numerous rooms. The audience was guided on foot from room to room throughout the show with shocking new scenes around every corner. The play was a big challenge and the rehearsal process was over a year in the making.

mm's: What are your hopes and dreams for your future?

Andrew: The Horse in Motion is still figuring out what we would like to do in the coming year. Our goal at this point is to do another big project next year with the possibility of other smaller endeavors between productions. For me personally, I’ve been trying to become more disciplined about writing. The self-motivation aspect of writing has always been a big challenge. Keep an eye out for The Horse in Motion’s next production due out sometime next spring.

Q & A with Ceiara - Scooper in Madrona

mm's: Would you mind telling us a little about your daughter? Does she like that her mom works for an ice cream shop?

Ceiara: My daughter's name is Ceanna, and she’s four. She loves that I work for Molly Moon's. Every time it's my day off I'll try to bring her to the shop, and she says ‘Hi Sky [to our Madrona shop manager], I'd like chocolate with sprinkles, please.’ It’s pretty cute.

: What is the most challenging & the most rewarding thing about being a mom?

: The most challenging thing is that I'm still young, so I can't do a lot of the things that I want to do. And I do a lot of things by myself. Being a single mome sucks, to be perfectly honest! But it helps you become a better mom, and a better woman. The best thing is that I have someone who always loves me and doesn't judge me. And I love seeing her grow every day. I’ve always enjoyed being a mom, but I enjoy it more every day because I see her grow and grow.

mm's: What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Ceiara: I’m planning to go to school in the fall to become a dental assistant. I’ve always been very interested in teeth. When I was younger I used to eat a lot of candy, and I lost two teeth. Now I want to deal with other people's teeth, not mine [laughs]. When I do better in life, my daughter can watch me, and she can be like, 'I want to do better in life too.' I just want the best for her. I’m showing her how to be strong and independent.

mm's: Thanks for taking the time to chat Andrew & Ceiara! Keep up the good work! ♥

Friday, August 8, 2014

One scoop at a time - Will & Skye

Blogger's note: This post is part of our summer series, "Making the World Better One Scoop at a Time" where we highlight all the awesome things our people are doing to make our community, and the world, a better place.

Today we're featuring Will (L) and Skye (R). Will just graduated from Cornish College of the Arts and Skye is getting ready to head off to Western Washington University. Will has been motivated by his love of skateboarding and design, and Skye is excited to pursue her passion for the great outdoors. Here's what they had to say about their respective pursuits: 

Q&A with Will - Scooper in Capitol Hill

mm's: Congrats on graduating from Cornish! What inspired you to pursue design?
Will: I've been skateboarding since I was a kid, that was always something that I loved to do. That's what got me interested in design in the first place. Winter would roll around, and when it's raining you can't really skate. So my buddies and I would make skateboards. It's always been a love affair for me.

mm's: Can you tell us a little bit more about your thesis?
Will: The main focus of my project was building the identity of a skateboard company - the design, the branding and values. I've gotten tired of what skateboarding had become today. You see all these videos of kids doing super crazy tricks down 15 stairs, and that's just terrifying. Kids see that on YouTube or TV and they think, 'There's no way I could do that,' so they don't even try. But really, skateboarding is a free-form sport with no real rules. A lot of my project was focused on skateboarding as a fun, individual activity.

mm's: What are your hopes and dreams for your future?
I think more kids should skateboard. It's better than sitting inside and playing those role-player shooter games. I think what kids spend their time doing has a big impact on how they develop socially. Skateboarding is full of obstacles, and it teaches perseverance. You come up against an obstacle and you have to think it through it, try to find a way around it. There's a possibility that I'll be making boards in the future, even if it's just a few every now and then out of my garage. But I'd love to make it into a full-blown company.

Q&A with Skye - Scooper in Madrona

: So you’re headed off to Western Washington University soon to pursue environmental studies?

Skye: Yes! I'm super stoked to start at Western this year. I'm enrolling in the terrestrial ecology major in the school of environmental sciences.

mm's: So what made you want to pursue environmental sciences?

Skye: I love studying ecology; I've completed a naturalist training program and have taught myself as many of the native plant and animal species of the Pacific Northwest as I can.

mm's: What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Skye: My dream is to be a field ecologist and be able to share how beautiful our corner of the world is, to help preserve it. I don't really know why it started, but I've always loved spending time outdoors and being in nature. For a few summers I've volunteered as an assistant camp-counselor for Wilderness Awareness School, which is a rad camp at Seward Park that gets kids engaged with the natural world.

mm's: Thanks Will & Skye! You guys are awesome, good luck with your pursuits!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

molly's perfect summer soundtrack is here!

From day one, Molly has wanted molly moon’s to be a home where artists can thrive, and we are thrilled to say that six years later that has totally happened!

More than a dozen folks from the #mooncrew are reaching for the sky with musical endeavors. Like Eric, who fronts the band Cataldo, playing Doe Bay Fest this weekend and Kessiah, who has worked for a number of touring bands and rocks it herself as a member of Land of Pines.

Every year Molly makes her perfect soundtrack to summer, and this year it leads with some of our favorite in-house talent.

Click here to listen!