How about some liquid nitrogen mixed with your ice cream?
It sounds a little space-age, but Kirk Jones, who owns the Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt franchise in Hurst, was instantly sold when he tasted the flash-frozen treat several years ago.
Jones said he saw an episode of the reality show Shark Tank in which Jerry Hancock, who founded Sub Zero, made his debut. But the celebrity investors, or “sharks,” on the show rejected Hancock’s business idea because of concerns about debt and the patent.
Hancock, whose business is based in Utah, didn’t give up and neither did Jones.
“After I saw the Shark Tank show, I was intrigued,” Jones said.
Jones said that about a year and a half ago, a friend told him about a Sub Zero shop opening in San Antonio. He caught a flight there to check it out. After trying his first flash-frozen treat — of brownie bites and Snickers — “the rest is history,” he said.
“It was no ordinary ice cream,” he recalled.
When ice cream sits in the freezer, icicles can sometimes form.
“You can taste that on your palate,” he said. “I noticed that the Sub Zero ice cream had a very creamy taste and texture.”
Hurst’s Sub Zero, at 9986 Grapevine Highway, Suite C, opened about three weeks ago, and so far the place has been a hit. Lines sometimes stretch out the door as customers wait to try a seemingly endless variety of flavors and concoctions like Magnetic Mint and Key Lime Voltage.
It’s all about the experience of eating ice cream that is instantly frozen without developing freezer burn, Jones said.
No ordinary ice cream parlor
People coming into the store won’t see tubs of ice cream behind the counter. Instead, they notice a liquid nitrogen tank about 8 feet high.
The counter is lined with large stainless-steel mixing bowls with nozzles above each one. When someone orders ice cream, the magic begins: Ingredients are hand-mixed and the liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the ice cream. The process sounds like a cappuccino machine and causes fog to rise above the counter.
The finished product has a rich, creamy taste.
52 Sub Zero Ice Cream stores in the United States
Jones said people with food allergies and dietary restrictions don’t have to worry when they visit Sub Zero because they can choose items that are sugar-free and can substitute soy or coconut milk.
People can also order smoothies, shakes and ice cream pies.
Coming to Hurst
Jones said that he purchased the franchise rights for the Dallas-Fort Worth area and that the Sub Zero shop in Hurst is the first to open in the Metroplex.
He is planning to open a second location in The Colony across from Nebraska Furniture Mart. Jones said he is also looking at other sites in the area.
Jones, who is in the oil and gas business, said he commutes in Northeast Tarrant County and realized that Hurst was in his back yard.
Jones also said that he never thought he would be in the food service business but that he doesn’t regret jumping in.
“I have just been overjoyed with the response from people and their raving reviews. I anticipated having a unique ice cream parlor, and the product really stands on its own,” he said.