What happens when you combine science and sweets? Just ask Phenomenom Nitrogen Ice Cream & Bake Shop.
A new eatery focused on combining custom ice cream treats and warm, decadent cookies recently opened its doors at 501 Orlando Ave., Suite 309, Winter Park.
It’s the sixth location Phenomenom has opened in Florida, and regional manager Richard Faust said the new shop is thrilled to be in Winter Park.
“All of us are very excited,” he said. “The focus is now growth, community outreach and interaction and kind of just introducing ourselves and what we do and who we are.”
Here’s how the sugar rush shop works: Guests at Phenomenom choose their base ice cream from a variety of flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, dulce de leche, strawberry, Biscoff, Nutella and mint.
That ice cream is then hit with nitrogen from a high-tech tubing system — a process that makes the ice cream more dense, smooth, chewy and flavorful, Faust said.
“We’re flash freezing fresh ice cream with liquid nitrogen,” he said. “Basically, we’re making fresh ice cream every time — it’s made to order.
“The nitrogen is -320 degrees and basically what it’s doing is it’s depositing its temperature into the product, which is the ice cream mix and whatever flavoring you choose,” he said. “It takes about 60 to 90 seconds, and then we have fresh ice cream.”
Faust said the fast process gives the ice cream that texture that you won’t find buying ice cream at a store.
“If you make ice cream in a factory, and then it goes into a freezer for transport, and then it goes into the actual truck, and then it goes into another truck, and then it goes to a warehouse, and then finally Publix or wherever you buy your ice cream, the temperature of that product was never consistent,” Faust said. “It always fluctuated, and in the science definition, it changed the product. When it melts and re-freezes, the consistency is different.”
A variety of toppings — including different fruits, candies and cereals — can then either be blended into the ice cream or placed on top after the freezing process.
“The possibilities are endless with the flavors and 30 to 40 mix-ins,” Faust said. “There’s thousands and thousands of possibilities.”
Patrons can even take things a step further and have the ice cream scooped on top of a six-ounce, fresh-baked cookie — straight from the recipe book of owner Chuck Woodard’s mother. Flavors include chocolate chip, M&M, Oreo, double dark chocolate, s’mores and more.
For customers looking for a caffeine fix, Phenomenom has a menu of different coffees as well, such as espresso, affogato, macchiato, latte and a special cold brew coffee float made with vanilla ice cream.
“It’s kind of like your dessert ice cream/coffee kind of thing,” Faust said.
Phenomenom began in March 2016 in Davie, Florida when Woodard opened the first location after originally making ice cream in his garage as a science experiment. The shop has gone on to open up locations in Boca Raton, Pinecrest, South Beach (just serving cookies), Gainesville and finally Winter Park.
Faust said he can’t wait to see the concept catch on at its newest location.
“This is what we want the future of ice cream to be,” Faust said. “We want ice cream to be fresh … that’s what we’re here to deliver. … We see that bright future in Winter Park.”