Thursday, September 25, 2014

One scoop at a time - Signin' with Molly Moon's!


signin' with molly moon's! from molly moon's homemade ice cream on Vimeo.

Whew, what a summer! We scooped (and let's be honest, we ate) a lot of ice cream ... we partied at Sasquatch and we visited some really awesome farms. But one of the coolest things that happened this summer, was the completion of our Signin' with Molly Moon's video & using it to train our staff on some basic American Sign Language (ASL).

We also spent some time blogging about our crew (like Eric & Jesse; Sayra & Brianna), and all the awesome things they are doing to make our community, and the world, a better place. So we figured we'd wrap up our series 'Making the World Better, One Scoop at a Time,' with Sky and Ashlyn. Sky and Ashlyn are two of our awesome shop managers, and they really care about making our shops accessible to more people. Without them, this video never would've happened! So we chatted with them to get the behind-the-scenes scoop: 

Q&A with Sky - Madrona shop manager

mm's
: How did the idea come about?

Sky: About a year ago, several community spaces I am a part of started making it a standard for all events to be ASL-interpreted. I started thinking, ‘Why don't service employees have training in basic ASL?’ It makes so much sense for our employees to learn a few signs to be able to communicate better and make our shops more welcoming for Deaf and hard-of-hearing folks.

mm's: What's been your role in making this project happen?

Sky:
Ashlyn and I have been working together on this project since I mentioned the idea to her. We came up with a list of signs we wanted our scoopers to know, created a storyboard and worked with our photographer James Moes to plan the video shoot. We asked Ali (a Capitol Hill scooper) and Ashton Sanderson (a regular customer) to be in the video, and had an awesome few hours filming with them. We worked with James on editing the footage and adding in the captions until it was finished. We are so excited to share this video with our employees (and our customers)!

mm's: Why did you want to do this?
Sky: Access is so important! Molly Moon's strives to make our shops comfortable and inviting for everyone, and this is one thing we can do to follow our word.

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

Sky: So many things! [My partner and I] see ourselves running a farmstead B&B with goats and ducks and an orchard and someday providing a supportive and safe place for queer and trans youth to be themselves.

Q&A with Ashlyn - U Village shop manager

mm's: What has been your role in making this video happen?
Ashlyn: My role has been pretty simple. It's been helping Sky draft up what the video was going to be like, finding volunteers to help, learning some new fun customer service related signs and starring in the video - ooh la la!

mm's: Why did you want to do this?
Ashlyn: Really for a few reasons: first off I just love sign language! I'll never know all the signs in the world and that to me is so beautiful. Much like English, ASL is an ever-evolving language and there are other sign languages that I can learn in different parts of the world. Another reason was that I love our Deaf customers, and I want them to know we support the use of ASL in our community. And I always want to get behind any idea that makes working at Molly Moon's even more rad than it already is! Lastly, I've had a lot of folks in the past come to me wishing they could communicate using sign language. I wanted to help create that tool, and other resources, so we could make this a reality.

mm's: What are your hopes/dreams for your future?
Ashlyn: I would love to be an interpreter. Ideally I would like to work with children, both in a classroom setting and in the medical setting. It's always been a dream of mine and I'm working hard to make it a reality.

mm's: Thanks Sky & Ashlyn! You did such an awesome job on this video & we love having such caring & passionate peeps as part of the molly moon's team! 

Want to help us celebrate (& practice!) our new sign language skills? Stop by our Queen Anne shop tonight (Thursday, September 25 6 - 9 p.m.)! We'll be showing our video, saying a big 'thank you' to the people who helped us make this happen & offering free hot fudge & sprinkles if you order in sign language! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our fall flavor calendar & download!

According to the Farmer's Almanac, fall officially arrived at 7:29 p.m. today. So now that it's official, we are rolling out our fall flavor calendar

Our summer flavor calendar downloads got such great feedback, we’ve decided to make these calendars a tradition ... now we can all have our favorite fall flavors at our fingertips! And the pretty image makes fall seem a little brighter & less dreary! This fall, we're not only bringing back some autumnal favorites (like pumpkin clove & cinnamon), but we're also taking full advantage of locally made beer & ciders to capture the full flavor of fall. Here's what's in store this season:
  • ginger ice cream 9.15
  • raspberry hard cider sorbet 9.29
  • pumpkin clove ice cream 10.13
  • reuben's porter ice cream 10.20
  • ginger pear cider sorbet 10.27
  • vegan salted caramel 11.3
  • black currant crème fraîche ice cream 11.10
  • cinnamon ice cream 11.17
  • wine grape sorbet 11.24
  • eggnog ice cream 12.8
  • chocolate orange ice cream 12.15
A very important note on our flavor calendar: while we make every attempt to stick to these dates, we work with small farms & purveyors, so occasionally dates are subject to change due to harvest unpredictability! Keep an eye on our flavors page for updates, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for news (& pics!) of each new flavor.

Download the calendar for your phone or desktop!

We have no less than four download options, so find the one that fits your lifestyle (phone or desktop ... Mac or PC).

Widescreen works for iMacs, Dell laptops, your 60" living room monster ... mid-sized for MacBooks (including Retina, of course) ... and small for old-school screens (4:3 ratio, just like mom used to make).
And there's even a background for your iPhone!


We hope you enjoy!!




Friday, September 19, 2014

One scoop at a time - Eva & Fiona

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 Eva (L) and Fiona (R). Eva loves practicing yoga, and hopes to share her passion with others by opening her own studio in Seattle. Fiona studying to be a midwife and plans to be an advocate for women's reproductive health. 

Q&A with Eva - Scooper in Capitol Hill

mm's: So where are you at with your training?
Eva: I just finished my 200hr training in July!

mm's: Nice! What made you want to pursue this?

Eva: I found yoga a few years ago as a way to feel more grounded during an unstable time and fell in love with both the physical and spiritual practice. I am so excited to share my passion of yoga with the world and continue to learn so much more.

mm's: OK, we have to ask ... what’s your favorite pose?
Eva: My favorite pose is dancer, it's so lovely and takes a lot of focus and grounding to not fall out.

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

Eva: My hopes are to one day open my own yoga studio, hopefully in Seattle, that encompasses everything I love so much about the practice - breathing, moving, and feeling like you!

Q&A with Fiona - shop manager in Queen Anne

mm's: What made you want to become a midwife?
Fiona: When I was in college I took a thesis course in human reproduction as part of my cultural anthropology major. Learning about how birth is treated around the world opened my eyes to how broken our system is in America, and how amazing birth can be. Ever since then I’ve been interested in childbirth professions.

mm's: So how do you become a midwife?
Fiona: This spring I completed doula training (a doula is an advocate for mother and child who helps them through the birth process, but is not medically trained) at the Simkin Center and will be applying to Bastyr’s MA in midwifery program next year. Currently I’m taking my prerequisite courses at Seattle Central and hope to work as a doula in the near future.

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

Fiona: My goal is to work as a midwife for underserved populations and to be an advocate for women’s reproductive health. It’s exciting to be a part of this social shift towards birth being regarded as a natural process and not always as a medical emergency.

mm's: Thanks Eva & Fiona! This has been so inspiring ... we can't wait to see what kind of good you do in the world!

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 

mm's
: 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?

Kiersten:
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!







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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!