The blast of icy liquid nitrogen sent a cloud of frigid fog into Joseph Hassan’s face. It was the only thing that could hide his smile.
“I was always obsessed with the science behind making desserts,” he said while standing next to his enormous liquid nitrogen tank. “We believe the ice cream makes people happy.”
He would know. For four years, Hassan has delivered ice cream to Tampa Bay in his four ice cream trucks. He had sweet success at places like the Florida State Fairgrounds. Customers love his ice cream.
But, he wondered if he could make it in his own ice cream shop.
So far, it’s working.
“Oh, I always get salted caramel and Heath (bar),” said Kristina Budzban, one of Hassan’s employees.
Hassan opened DoughCones near the corner of 56th Street North and Fowler Avenue, just a short walk from the University of South Florida campus two weeks ago. His shop’s grand opening is this weekend.
“It’s been a long journey,” he said, while standing behind the counter.
Two years ago he got the itch to start his ice cream shop. Growing up while splitting time between Jerusalem and Florida, he came to appreciate a cooling treat in the summer heat.
He got a canister of liquid nitrogen and started experimenting with ice cream flavors at home. His mother was a little concerned.
“She was at first,” he said. “But she’s been very supportive.”
The shop makes ice cream right in front of customers. Ice cream lovers will order either milk, yogurt or a vegan base liquid, then choose a flavor and any toppings they’d like to mix in. The concoction gets blasted with minus-321 degree liquid nitrogen for 10 seconds.
Then, it’s time to dig in.
“I expect a lot of people here, a lot of ice cream making, a lot of nitrogen being used and, I think a lot of smiles because everybody’s super happy when they get ice cream,” said Budzban.
The store is located at 11506 N 56th Street in Temple Terrace and is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. They offer ‘puffle cones’, which are like fluffy waffles, or cones made from donuts. There are over 40 different flavors from which to choose.