Made-to-order ice cream frozen with liquid nitrogen has been slower to catch on in the US, even though chains dedicated to the concept first opened stateside about 15 years ago. It’s a ‘natural’ alternative to traditional ice creams that typically have gums and stabilizers.
Major players in the US market include Sub Zero and Creamistry, followed by several smaller, regional shops. Chill-N Nitrogen Ice Cream has opened eight Florida locations since 2012 and is now ready to take the business national.
Chill-N is a family-run brand that uses locally sourced products. The company describes itself as “a custom-order ice cream shop that uses liquid nitrogen to flash freeze your ice cream, instead of the traditional churn method. Our process produces a smoother, fresher, more flavorful, individualized bowl of ice cream.”
From liquid to solid in 45 seconds
Chill-N freezes and flavors every serving as it's ordered, starting with a base of either ice cream, coconut milk, yogurt or tart yogurt. Customers can choose from 12 year-round flavors like Salted Caramel and Cake Batter, and seasonals like Mango and Apple Pie. They also have more than 30 mix-in ingredients and toppings.
“When liquid nitrogen sits at -320F, it allows your chosen ice cream base to go from a liquid to a solid in about 45 seconds,” Chill-N said.
COO and co-founder Daniel Golik said, “Nitrogen is just the most convenient thing to use to flash-freeze. Nitrogen itself isn’t giving any characteristic to the ice cream, it’s just the fact that it’s super cold and it’s readily available and it’s non-toxic.”
Golik spent months developing the ice cream equation in his garage before launching. The executive team is now looking for experienced single- and multi-unit operators to become a part of the brand and develop franchise territories in new markets.
"Ice cream is a universal and timeless dessert and the idea of making ice cream with liquid nitrogen has always fascinated me, and when we realized we could perfect this concept to share with the larger community, it was a no-brainer,” Golik said.
"Since our first store opened in 2012, we've received tremendous support and love from our die-hard fans and I'm excited to expand the Chill-N experience to customers across the country."
David Leonardo was recently promoted to CEO of Chill-N after working on the franchise plans, and said, "After speaking with Daniel and doing my due diligence, I was most impressed with the unit economics of the brand and the strength of the ice cream industry in good times and bad.”
“Chill-N appeals to a wide audience and we are eager to onboard the right franchisees who will help us build a strong business with our support and resources."