Friday, July 25, 2014

strawberry farms forever



a few tuesdays ago, we took a little road trip out to Viva Farms in Washington's Skagit Valley to meet the farmers who are growing the strawberries for the delicious strawberry sorbet that's in all of our shops right now. i think it's my favorite sorbet we've ever had, and i'm pretty excited about these farmers, so i wanted to go check it out.  

Viva Farms is a farm incubator that helps farmers get their start. they sublease small amounts of their 33 acres to new farmers and help them with equipment, education, marketing, and start-up loans. many of the farmers are first-generation immigrants from all over the world (one Viva farmer came to Washington from Iraq and has a PhD in agriculture), and they even have a program to help U.S. veterans start farming. stepping onto the land, we could just feel that it was a community.

we met Leigh, Viva's Farm to Community Fellow, in front of the farm offices, and she introduced us to Rob, who is helping Viva grow through marketing a relationships to buyers (like us!) we joked a bit and then headed out to see the farms.

Viva has seventeen individual farms on its property, so some of the farms are pretty small. the photo below is of a single farm. i exclaimed that it doesn't look much bigger than my mom's kitchen garden on Whidbey! but each farm is farmed by its owner, and each farm has a business plan, a marketing plan, and operates like any other, larger farm. i loved how this farm had flowers planted at the end of each row to attract pollinators.

many of Viva's farms grow strawberries -- including these little white strawberries that tasted amazing!

then we got to meet Martina, the owner of the farm growing all of our strawberries for our sorbet. Martina doesn't speak much English, but it was so nice to meet her and thank her for her gorgeous berries.


and then we got to head out into the field and taste a few!


i think the best part of the day was chatting with Leigh and Rob about next year. we hope to be able to buy all the berries they can grow for us, and start to use Viva's berries in our strawberry and balsamic strawberry ice creams year-round. they are such an amazing organization to partner with. as a company, we're in a really weird spot right now, where we need too many ingredients for a lot of small farms, but we really want to have these close, special relationships with all of our farmers. i'll keep you all posted as we source next year's berries ...

p.s. strawberry sorbet is in shops through the weekend. we transition to blackberry sorbet on monday, so grab a scoop of this delicious flavor before it's gone!

♥ molly moon

Friday, July 11, 2014

One scoop at a time - Eric & Jesse

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 Eric (L) and Jesse (R). These two both have mad talent when it comes to things like music & writing, and have found really cool ways to share their talents with others. 

Q&A with Eric - Shop Manager, Capitol Hill and 19th & Mercer

mm's: So in addition to running two of our shops and being a rock star, you also volunteer for 826 Seattle, a non-profit writing & tutoring center. What kind of volunteer work do you do?
Eric: I help out with Poetry and Songwriting club. Mostly this consists of providing musical accompaniment and creative guidance to micro-geniuses.

mm's
: How long have you been doing it?
Eric: Just wrapping up my second year.

mm's
: Why do you feel like it’s important work?
Eric: Facilitating and encouraging creative expression outside of a school context is so, so important. Having talented adults engage seriously with their work enables kids to take themselves seriously as well. Watching the kids grow more sophisticated and brave is a joy and good for the universe.

mm's: What are your hopes and dreams for your future?
Eric: I'll keep volunteering as long as they'll have me!

Q&A with Jesse - Scooper, Capitol Hill and 19th & Mercer 

mm's: Word on the street is you’re a peer writing tutor at Seattle Central Community College - that’s so cool! Can you tell us more?
Jesse: Writing tutoring uses a non-directive pedagogy that empowers writers to become their own best editors -- so rather than grading & lecturing students, I sit with them one-on-one and work out techniques they can use to tackle writing projects based on their individual needs.

mm's: What kind of writing do you teach?
Jesse: Working at SCCC is great since I get to work with so many international students, which challenges me to improve my own tutoring practice in terms of basics like articulating grammar rules and the English language's obsession with when things happen. Mostly I work with students at a pretty introductory level of academic writing; occasionally I'll get to help with a personal narrative or even a story, but primarily I work on thesis-based assignments that argue a complex issue. I talk a lot about specific nouns, syntactical issues, and -- my favorite -- active verbs. My specialties are cover letters and resumes, which I unfortunately don't get to work on at SCCC. But I am available freelance ;).

mm's
: How did you get into tutoring?
Jesse: I've been tutoring writing for almost four years, and I worked as the Assistant Director at the UNC Asheville writing center, where I also earned an honors B.A. in creative writing and social sciences. I began tutoring as my work study job at the recommendation of a fellow creative writing student, and my mash-up of food service and research experience made for an illustrious match in writing tutoring.

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

Jesse: I see myself continuing to tutor writing. Unfortunately, these jobs are pretty saturated with folks who can afford to stay in school indefinitely, and many public universities only have the budget to hire from within their own ranks. I'm glad to be continuing my practice, but have found that supplementing my income with a fun, writing-unrelated job (like scooping!) helps me keep my anxieties about grad school etc. at bay. My fabulous cohort of SCCC students help too. I've never worked with such a diverse population, and it's invigorating to see the amazing work that they crank out.

mm's: Thanks Eric & Jesse! We think it's so great that you're out there sharing your talent and making the world better, one scoop at a time!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

One scoop at a time - Jordan & Kisa

Blogger's note: This post is part of our new 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 Jordan (L) and Kisa (R). Kisa is a scooper at our U Village shop, and Jordan's our Queen Anne kitchen manager ...  for just a few more weeks! Jordan got a job as an EMT. We are so sorry to see him go, but thrilled that he's following his dream!

Q&A with Jordan - Queen Anne kitchen manager

mm's
: When did you complete your EMT training? What was it like?
Jordan: I completed my training in December of 2013 and passed my NREMT exam shortly after. The course itself was tough, but went by fast. Honestly the hardest part was how fast the class moved and managing study time. It's a lot of bookwork with written tests every day, but you also have to find time (and willing "patients!") to practice your EMT skills. Being able to strip someone's clothes off, give them a head-to-toe physical exam, administer oxygen, and get a set of vital signs in under 90 seconds requires lots of practice. The thing that made it a really great experience was the people. There is a pretty strong sense of camaraderie between you and your classmates because everybody is there going through this really tough and occasionally awkward experience, but you're all doing it because you're the type of person who cares about other people and wants to help make the world safer. The instructors are all phenomenal as well.

mm's: What made you want to go down this road?
Jordan: After I graduated from college I spent a year or two just working and doing whatever else. It was a nice break after spending seven years as an undergraduate and being a full-time cook, but pretty soon I found myself feeling like I was stagnating. My cousin is a firefighter in New Mexico and wouldn't shut up about what a great job it is. After some time I finally decided there was no harm in looking into it. So I started talking to people about it, and reading whatever I could about firefighting as a career, and before long I came to the conclusion that pursuing it was the right next step for me. So I pulled the trigger and started the process by signing up for an EMT certification course and signing up to take the written exam for Seattle Fire.

mm'sWhat are your hopes/dreams for the future?
Jordan:
My dream would be to work for Seattle Fire, but it's a tough gig to land since they are such a great/competitive department. In the mean time my real aim is to get out there, get some experience saving lives, and just take everything as it comes to me.

Q&A with Kisa - scooper in U Village

mm's: Can you tell us a little bit more about your work with  the World Affairs Council in Seattle?
Kisa: I am currently working as a Community Programs Intern - where I mostly handle research, program development and marketing. Through my internship with the World Affairs Council's Community Programs, I am constantly exposed to and given the opportunity to participate in discussions surrounding global current events and debates. In previous years, the WAC has hosted events for individuals such as former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez.

I only recently began my internship, and I already had the pleasure of meeting Taiwan's first female Vice President Annette Lu; and I am currently gearing up for an event featuring Priti Patkar, who is currently the Human Rights Honoree at the 2014 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards for her efforts to end inter-generational human trafficking in India.

mm's: How did you get involved?
As a dual citizen, I spent most of my summers with my family in Okayama, Japan and attending Seattle Japanese School prior to college - which significantly shaped my yearning to pursue an experience with an international focus. During my time at Washington State University, I studied political science and comparative ethnic studies. I initially learned about this internship through my department, but finally had the courage to apply after graduating. It has so far been an amazing opportunity and I'm so happy to have taken the chance to apply!

mm's: What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
My hopes and dreams?? I am currently in the process of applying/searching for public policy and public administration graduate programs, with an emphasis on social and international policy. Having been born and raised in Seattle, I've lived in quite the politically vocal community - this has undoubtedly influenced my desire to make a positive change on people's lives through the form of public policy.

I'm a people person. I'm approaching my 5th summer with Molly Moon's and I'm pretty sure you guys can't get rid of me for that reason. I love constantly being surrounded by my lovely supportive coworkers and members of the community - and just having a positive or happy impact on someone's day. The coolest part of working at Molly Moon's is that everyone is involved in such awesome organizations/activities/schools/programs - not to mention, exceptionally talented - and we all have an undying support system for each others' endeavors. Can't get enough of it. :)

mm's: Thanks Jordan & Kisa! We're so excited about all the awesome things you're doing!


Monday, June 30, 2014

a favorite summer tradition



a couple weeks ago, we got our first delivery of cherries for our perennial june flavor, cherry chunk ice cream (and this year, vegan cherry chunk!). and so, we did what we always do around here -- we had a pitting party. the molly moon's pitting party has been a favorite summer tradition of mine for six years now. so i was so excited this year, when our friend james moes said he could come with his family, join in on the pitting fun, and capture a few photos of the way we get cherry season started.

our first pitting party wasn't really a party -- but an act of desperation. one morning in june 2008, i was making ice cream in the kitchen in the wallingford shop, and a sweet, sun-kissed looking girl knocked on our door and asked me if i wanted to buy 100 pounds of cherries that she was trying to sell. they'd been picked that weekend on the grounds of Pacific Crest Farm and she didn't have a buyer because the trees had been more bountiful than she expected. i bought the cherries (obviously! how could i not?!) and scurried to find friends willing to help me pit all of them. i bought a few pitters at mrs. cook's in u village, and pitted most of them on my friend, Caroline's deck, eating popsicles with her kids and drinking mojitos in the sunshine. we rolled the fresh cherries into plain ice cream base, splashed in just a tiny amount of vanilla, and then added chunks of chocolate.  the outcome was the best-selling seasonal flavor of my first summer in business, and we've kept cherry chunk on the june menu ever since.
























fast forward six years and six ice cream shops, and the pitting party has nestled into a beloved place in my heart. we outgrew Pacific Crest's supply years ago, and moved on to buy beautiful Bing cherries from Dave Alberg at Alberg Orchards in the Columbia Valley. Dave picks most of the cherries himself, and we start the laborious task of pitting each cherry with a party every summer.

for the last several years, we've rented the back patio at Oddfellows Cafe, around the corner from our Capitol Hill shop, and i invite molly moon's staff (or moon crew, as we affectionately call ourselves) and friends alike. we order a round of rosé (or as my friend, Colu, calls it, summer water!), a few cheese boards and nibbles, and get to pitting.

























some of us take it rather seriously.

























this year brought a little bit of a new vibe to the whole thing because there were so many kids there. for four years or so, the pitting party was about drinking a bunch and being loud and funny while we kind-of got some pitting done. because, for the most part, everyone at molly moon's has been single and child-free since we opened. it was a little bit of a trip for me to realize that because i had a baby last year, now the people i was inviting to things have kids, and this whole event became kind of a kid-stravaganza. when i started molly moon's, i wanted to give Seattle more opportunities to gather in a multi-generational way, since that was something i was really missing when i moved here in 2001. i hope the moon crew doesn't mind the change of tone, and it was so sweet to see my little girl, February (the one in the stripes & pony tail), and her pint-sized friends learning and watching with my mostly twenty-something crew.























































































































overall, it was a really sweet evening. thanks to all the crew & friends who came.

if you're in the mood to have a pitting party yourself, i highly recommend it! all you really need is a space that won't be bothered by a little cherry juice splatter, a bunch of cherries, and a few pitters. it reminds me of husking corn or shucking peas or any of those things you do with a group to get the job done and have fun while you pass the time. have you ever had a party or a gathering to get a job like this done? would you? and what do you think about cherry chunk, by the way?

♥ molly moon

Friday, June 27, 2014

One scoop at a time - Greg & Tara

Blogger's note: This post is part of our new 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 Greg (L) and Tara (R). Both are scoopers at our Madrona shop, and spend their free time doing some pretty cool stuff. These two are working hard to make the world better one scoop at a time – through social work and science!

Q&A with Greg - scooper in Madrona

mm's: So we hear you're interning with Amara, a great organization that facilitates adoption for local families. What made you want to go into social work?
Greg: I am a freshman at Seattle University and I so far I've taken an intro class in social work. I was inspired to go into social work by my mom, who in her youth worked as a school social worker in inner city Chicago. Her stories about gang members and the changes that occurred in their lives made me feels as if I could effect some sort of change through social work.

mm's: What has your internship with Amara been like? What have you been doing?

Greg: I have worked at Amara Parenting since April and it has been a great experience. I do a variety of tasks such as drafting letters to people who want to know more about their birth families or drafting post placement of adoptive children that the social workers then review.

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

Greg: In the future I hope to do social work in the field of adoptive services or drug counseling.

Q&A with Tara - scooper in Madrona


mm's
: So, we hear you are doing some really cool stuff in the field of tissue reconstruction. What’s that all about?

Tara: It's definitely pretty complicated, and there are times when I need to have some of the concepts explained to me over and over again, but basically it’s a protein supplement (like whey protein) that doesn't cause fat gain and can target certain proteins. Basically, the proteins that our bodies produce are based on amino acid ratios. So, what this protein supplement attempts to do is add amino acids to a base supplement like whey that can allow for optimum production of certain proteins. It hasn't been approved as a patent yet, but if it does, I'm hoping that my research is correct in assuming that we could target proteins that could help with surgery recovery or skin proteins in burn patients.

mm's: So are you in school? How did you end up working on this project?
Tara:
I'm graduating from Garfield High School in two weeks and I'm going to the Kilachand Honors College at Boston University next year! I just turned 18! Both my mom and my stepdad are scientists so I always hear them talking about their work and last year I took AP Biology, so I finally started to understand what they were saying. When we were working on our protein unit, I started asking my stepdad about protein supplements and how they work and then we looked into whether or not any protein supplement had been supplemented with more amino acids and they hadn't been and it just went from there. So, I spent last summer working on spreadsheets and calculating the ratios of amino acids and how much fat/protein/etc that they produce!

mm's: And this is the second patent you’ve worked on, right? Two patents is pretty darn awesome! What was your first patent for?
Tara: My other patent is a design patent and it’s for a font that I designed in middle school. It's a geometric font. I got really interested in handwriting in middle school after attending an exhibit on it and just started doodling different fonts.

mm's: So what made you want to go into medical research? Or is there something else you want to do?

Tara: Since my parents are both scientists, I've been surrounded by it for the majority of my life. While I love biology, I don't think I'm going to pursue it - at least not from the typical angle. I'm going into Boston U as a political science major and at this point I think I'd like to go to law school. I'm thinking of incorporating my love of biology in there somehow though - maybe by minoring in it and becoming an intellectual property attorney. I definitely think researching was a rewarding experience, but my favorite part of it was actually working with the patent attorneys and seeing everything that goes into filing for a patent.

mm's: Thanks Greg & Tara! You guys are awesome!



Thursday, June 19, 2014

our summer flavor calendar is here!





Summer is heeeeeeeere!!!

Here at molly moon's, we get pretty darn excited about summer. Not just because we love sandals and outdoor music festivals and picnics in the park, but also because that's when we get to take advantage of the amazing, delicious rainbow of Northwest fruit and make some really fun ice cream flavors.

Want to save this info for easy reference this summer? You can download the desktop wallpaper here, & download the iPhone wallpaper here.

A very important note on our flavor calendar: since we work with small, local farms who are subject to the whims of the weather, dates and flavors are subject to change. Keep an eye on our flavors page for updates, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for news (& pics!) of each new flavor.

Happy summer!!!




Friday, June 13, 2014

One scoop at a time - Ema & McKenna

Blogger's note: This post is part of our new 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 Ema (L) and McKenna (R). These gals are doing really different things (Ema is an aspiring archaeologist and McKenna is a freelance graphic designer) but they're both super passionate and have traveled the world to pursue their dreams! 

Q&A with Ema - scooper at Wallingford


mm's: So you’re an archaeology student at UW and you recently went to a conference on subarctic paleoecology in Denmark. What made you want to study archaeology?
Ema: I wanted to do archaeology because the discipline lives in this dynamic intersection of art and science. There's history, literature, geology, geography, ecology, and mystery involved. To be honest, I'm just kind-of in love with the amount of possibility and opportunities in archaeology. Plus, field work is incredibly fun and satisfying. I spent a month last summer living in middle-of-nowhere Iceland excavating a medieval farm mound, and it was one of the most incredible experiences ever. Also, being able to actively contribute to the historical/archaeological record is just rad.

mm's: How was the conference? What did you do there?
Ema:
The conference was amazing! It was basically four days of presentations on current ecological work being conducted in the Subarctic seas. I was there as part of a committee focused on the paleoecology of the subarctic, led by my advisor at UW, Ben Fitzhugh. Each day had a different "theme," the first was Danish work (because we were hosted by the university in Copenhagen and the Natural History Museum), next was paleoecology, and the last day was entirely about the ecology of Arctic Cod. I'm going to be honest, I never thought I would ever know as much about Arctic Cod as I do now! But I learned an incredible amount, and just the experience of attending an international conference as an academic was such an important experience for me as I move forward in my career. Plus I got to meet some of my favorite paleoecologists in person!

mm's: What are your hopes and dreams for your future?
Ema: My "hopes and dreams" are pretty education focused as of right now. I'm going to graduate with my bachelor's next year (after only three years!), and then plan to attend a two year master's program at the University of Iceland for Viking, Norse, and Medieval studies before returning to the US for my doctorate in archaeology. I hope to come back to UW for my dissertation and continue working in the subarctic, I really love living in Seattle and don't plan on "moving for good" anytime soon!

Q&A with McKenna - scooper at Capitol Hill/19th & Mercer

mm's: How did you get into graphic design?
McKenna: Graphic design was something that I got into while I was deciding what to major in for my bachelor's degree. I knew that I loved art and solving things in a visual and creative way and thought that graphic design was a good mix of my talents. I kind of jumped in to focusing on that during my college career and I really ended up loving it!

mm's:
What’s your favorite thing about it?
McKenna:
My favorite thing about graphic design is that it is so versatile and ever-changing. What isn't awesome about making ideas look great?!

mm's:
How did you end up working with a client in Hong Kong?
McKenna:
I am so lucky to have had the experience of traveling and working with clients in Asia. My cousin opened a branch of a cosmetic packaging company in Hong Kong. Observing the work that they did was one of the inspirations for me to study Digital Design in college. After a few years studying art and design, that company ended up asking me to do some summer work and freelance design. Working with clients in another country is a challenge that I am proud to have under my belt. It taught me a lot about how to manage time and interact with clients that were much older. Design is a skill needed by many - other countries included!

mm's: What are your hopes and dreams for your future?
McKenna: Oh man! Since I'm a recent graduate the "hopes and dreams" question is so loaded. I suppose that my hope for the future is to focus my creative energy on things that I enjoy. I've been really fortunate to use my skills and talents to work on projects that make me happy and I want my life to include more of that. I eventually want to have a job as a graphic designer and artist who creates work that is meaningful to myself and to others. I wish to use creativity to better the world that we live in- if that doesn't sound too cheesy! ;-)

mm's: Nope, not at all! Thanks Ema and McKenna!!