Bliss Small Batch Creamery expanding in Tacoma again
It’s been two years since Bliss Small Batch Creamery opened its first brick-and-mortar location in University Place.
Happy birthday to Bliss. Everybody gets a birthday benefit from their celebration.
Get half-off ice cream (cups and cones) from 3-8 p.m. today, October 5.
They’re also celebrating by expanding again.
The ice cream company known for fanciful flavors and a broad selection of dairy-free/vegan ice creams, is opening a retail location in the Proctor neighborhood later this year.
And this is an unusual relationship.
“It’s always bugged me that we open later in the day and there’s so much time in the day that our space is not used and we’re paying expensive rent,” explained co-owner Theresa Stockton-Fouquette, who operates Bliss with her sister Stacie Leaf and several family members.
She knew if she felt this way about her retail space, surely there would be other business owners struggling with the same problem.
When she started looking around for possible shared business spaces, she stumbled on Top Pot Doughnuts in Proctor, a bakery that does great business in the early part of the day, but not much in the afternoon.
She said, “I sent them an email. It said, ‘I can’t help but notice you’re closing every day at the same time we’re opening and I was curious if you would be interested in sharing your space?’”
She said that email worked. They started talking. Now they have a signed lease.
They plan to launch in November if all goes as planned.
“We’re better together,” said Stockton-Fouquette, who added that Tacoma-area food truck community is a model for how businesses can work cooperatively with fellow businesses. “Being part of the food truck community, we stick together and help each other out. I love sharing ideas and collaborating and doing business with other local people. We all have the same dream.”
HOW TOP POT AND BLISS WILL WORK TOGETHER
While Top Pot will operate in the space early in the day, Bliss Small Batch Creamery will take over a small section of the space in the early afternoons. The ice cream company will sell their individually wrapped ice cream treats and scoop up cones and other ice cream concoctions.
“We decided to go with a kiosk approach. It will be easier,” said Stockton-Fouquette. “We don’t have to build out anything. We’re designing everything with what’s existing in that space. It’s way cheaper and a lot less mess. They’re still operating out of there, we don’t want this to be inconvenient to them.”
She added, “We’re taking over just the front area space there. It’s quite small. We don’t need a lot of space. We’ll create a walk-up window. So you can order inside the dining room but also have the walk-up window,” she said.
Stockton-Fouquette and her sister started the business as a mobile endeavor. Three years ago, they first launched an ice cream trailer and commercial kitchen in Fircrest, and then expanded with ice cream carts and bikes the last three years. They opened the University Place location, their first brick and mortar, two years ago this week.
The Fircrest kitchen continues as their home base for making their ice creams and they continue to grow their presence at community events and farmers markets by selling ice creams using their mobile trailer, bikes and a newly acquired food truck.
The sisters are known for their wide range of flavors and their ice creams made with all-natural ingredients (no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavorings).
Their popular flavors include Sweet Blackberry, Lemon Ginger Poppyseed, Sunbutter Crunch, Sour Cherry Amaretto, Honey Lavender, Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies and Salted Butter Caramel. Vegans and dairy-free ice cream lovers rave about their Peanut Butter ‘N Jelly, S’Mores, Cookie Butter and Bumbleberry Crisp.
They make custom ice cream cakes as well as individually wrapped ice cream treats, including ice cream sandwiches.
WILL THERE BE ANY MASHUPS BETWEEN TOP POT AND BLISS?
I couldn’t help but ask: Will we see the Top Pot’s chocolate Ovaltine doughnut topped with Bliss’s salted butter caramel ice cream? Or a cake doughnut topped with their butterscotch oatmeal cookie ice cream? Please?
“I’m excited for the possibility of crossover,” she said. “We haven’t gotten into specifics, but it’s the back of our minds. We’re focused on getting open first, then we’ll work on the combinations.”
MORE PARTNERSHIPS BLISS SMALL BATCH CREAMERY
Find Bliss ice cream in DuPont at Mince Mercantile, and they’re working on selling their packaged ice creams at other grocery stores and small businesses. The sisters have teamed up with The Art of Crunch, Tacoma’s favorite biscotti and cookie bar company, to create some fun flavor pairings. They’ve incorporated The Art of Crunch’s pumpkin spice bars into their pumpkin ice cream. They’ve also paired The Art of Crunch’s apple cinnamon bar with their brown sugar cinnamon ice cream. “We put lots of cinnamon in it. And vanilla,” said Stockton-Fouquette. Get those flavors now at their retail location in University Place.
BLISS SMALL BATCH CREAMERY
Where: 3556 Market Place W., University Place; 253-327-1922
Order online: icecreambliss.com
Delivery: Uber Eats
MORE ICE CREAM IN PROCTOR
Say what? There’s going to be two ice cream spots in Proctor? You heard correctly. There’s another home-grown ice cream business coming to the Proctor neighborhood. Ice Cream Social from Tacoma’s Layla Isaac is opening a retail space in Proctor next door to Europa Bistro. Read about that here.