HUB Expands Popular Ice Cream Venture
March 20, 2015
by Simon Brimmer
Just in time for another scorching Tucson summer, HUB is about to provide Downtown patrons with easier access to its renowned lineup of ice cream goodies.
The HUB Ice Cream Factory is scheduled to open across the street from the current HUB restaurant location at some point in May. Among other things, it’s a way for HUB to alleviate some in-store traffic congestion while focusing efforts on its popular dessert innovations. Basically, the ice cream outgrew the location.
“Sometimes the ice cream line is long,” said HUB Director of Operations Sandy Ford. “It goes out the door and can cause some confusion as to whether it’s the line to get a table. It’s crowded, the servers have a hard time getting in and out. It’s been a good problem, but still a problem so we thought if we opened up across the street we could alleviate that problem a little and also solve the problem with production.”
Once it became clear HUB’s unique ice cream options were a huge hit with customers, Ford and her associates started pursuing ways to improve upon limited production space. The Ice Cream Factory location at 245 E. Congress has 1,000 square feet specifically dedicated to the production side in addition to 500 square feet for the in-store sales aspect.
“We didn’t know whether we were going to go Warehouse District or another area with more space, but we started looking around, there were a couple different options, and then the idea of opening across the street in one of the spaces came up,” said Ford, who is also working out the details for a delivery truck which can sell ice cream all over town. “There is a truck in the works. It probably won’t be open in time enough to coincide with the store opening, but it will be available at some point probably in the middle of summer, and it will be able to deliver all over town, and it’s the cutest little truck ever. We had a very cute truck from the 60s that about 12 people told me they couldn’t do anything with it, so after that we found this little 1955 Chevy Step Van in California, and we’re working through the process of getting it ready.”
In the meantime, pastry chef Irene Cohen will continue dabbling with a number of flavor combinations that have made the HUB dessert experience special.
“Most of the flavors are hers,” Ford said. “She left us for a time to work at Wildflower, but just recently came back when she learned we were going to do an expansion, and she was really the only person I felt comfortable doing that with. She’s always coming up with new flavors and has over 300 in her repertoire now. Some of them are always favorites.”
And those favorites will still be available at the HUB restaurant location, with additional and expanded options in the case across the street.
“We’ll have the same staples, but more flavors,” said Ford. “There are 11 flavors that never leave the case, and then there are seasonal rotators that are different. The shop across the street will have ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, floats, we’ll do cool things like mini-baked apple and strawberry pies with ice cream on top of it. We’re going to sell ice cream cakes so you can custom order for a special occasion.
“We have huge plans for that store. I want to do ice cream cupcakes and birthday parties to go. At first we’ll stick to a few things we know we can do really well, and then as we see how busy we are, and the demand for other things, we’ll expand. I’m excited. I think it’s going to be great.”
The Ice Cream Factory is located at 245 E. Congress, and will celebrate their grand opening on Friday, May 22nd. For more information, check out their Facebook page.