It’s 3 p.m. on a weekday, and there’s a party going on in south Overland Park.
School is out, and customers are flooding into the new Freezing Moo Rolling Ice Cream at 135 Street and Metcalf Avenue to watch ice cream being made before their eyes.
First they pick their flavor — from No. 1 Monkey Business (banana, Nutella, graham crackers and chocolate) to No. 18 Lotz a Nuts (graham crackers, Butterfingers, peanut butter and chocolate sauce). For the local college fan, there’s also the No. 16 Rock Chalk Cherry (cherry, sugar cookies and chocolate sauce) and No. 17 Wildcats (blackberries, strawberries, banana and chocolate sauce).
Then they head down the counter to see their orders take shape behind a plexiglass partition.
Employees pour a mixture of milk, cream, sugar and egg onto a stainless steel plate — kept at 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit — chopping in such ingredients as fresh fruit and cookies as the milk mixture swiftly freezes into a square sheet of ice cream.
Then they draw a design using chocolate, caramel or strawberry sauce — teddy bear heads, smiley faces, dinosaurs or alligators, names or messages such as Happy Birthday.
Using stainless steel spatulas, they roll up the ice cream, five to six rolls per order for $5.99. Customers can add three toppings from a choice of more than 30 — including brownies, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, coconut flakes, mango, toasted marshmallows and lychee. Additional toppings are 50 cents each.
The orders can then be drizzled with chocolate, caramel or strawberry syrup, condensed milk or whipped cream. Freshly made regular waffle cones are 91 cents and chocolate waffle cones are $1.82.
Cynthia Sanchez of Kansas City, Kan., describes Freezing Moo as “hibachi for ice cream.” Some younger customers just sum it up as “awesome.”
Freezing Moo Rolling Ice Cream opened in late 2016 at 6936 W. 135th St., near Hen House Market.
“They have these all over Asia but mostly street vendors,” says co-owner Truman Yeh, who grew up in Hong Kong. “People like the freshness with the fresh ingredients mixed in. With our chain store background we wanted to package it up. But we’re not just selling a product, we are selling an overall experience.”
Yeh opened Freezing Moo with his partners, Tommy Tang and Amy Su. Yeh and Tang have been operating GB Chinese fast food restaurants inside some Hen House Markets for about eight years.
Freezing Moo’s popularity — now at several thousand orders of the ice cream a week — had them scrambling to keep up with demand. They started with four stations and recently increased to 10.
On a recent weekday, 20-something friends, tweens and teens, and three generations of one family filled the space. Some customers took selfies to print out at one of two printers to post on the walls, which are already plastered with hundreds of colorful shots and Post-It notes with messages. Prom dates have pulled up in their limos on recent weekend nights, and families stop in after Sunday brunch.
In mid-June, the partners are opening a shop in the former Glacé Artisan Ice Cream space at 4535 W. 119th St. in Leawood’s Town Center Crossing. In July, they will open another in a new freestanding building, in a space between Pizzeria Locale and Zoës Kitchen at Oak Park Mall, 11885 W. 95th St., in Overland Park.
Yeh’s sister, Ping Yeh, also plans to open a location, but under Roll With It, at 1100 N.E. Douglas St. in Lee’s Summit, in July.
The owners think the metro can hold up to a dozen locations, and they also are looking at franchising.
Freezing Moo posts free bimonthly ice cream giveaways on its Facebook page — two-hour events that can draw hundreds of people. The next giveaway is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, May 26. And it holds fundraisers for area schools and for underprivileged children.
“Our mission statement is to bring a taste of joy and a fun experience — one cup at a time,” Yeh said.