Pioneering Austin ice cream shop freezes out original east side location
One of Austin’s favorite ice cream shops is ending the year on a bittersweet note. After moving out of the Burnet Road location it shared with Noble Sandwich Co. in late September, Spun Ice Cream closed its original outpost at 1912 E. Seventh St. on December 1.
Ashley Cheng, who co-founded the concept with sister and pastry chef Christina Cheng, confirmed the news, telling CultureMap that Spun decided to end its lease to focus on catering. The shipping container shop located outside the Domain Northside Whole Foods Market will continue to operate as usual.
The Cheng sisters, daughters of Chinatown’s Ronald Cheng, debuted Spun in December 2015 with a then-novel approach to ice cream making. Each scoop is made to order using industrial KitchenAid mixers attached to liquid nitrogen generators that freeze the ingredients instantly.
The setup is no mere gimmick. The longer it takes for an ice cream base to freeze, the higher the chance that the end product will have a grainy texture due to the formation of large ice crystals. Spun’s treats, in contrast, are uncommonly smooth.
The parlor also makes toppings from scratch, including its waffle cones, and relies on local sourcing for ingredients. In its original shop, the names of area suppliers were prominently worked into the decor via a chalkboard wall.
That locally minded ethos still differentiates Spun from the chains that have since opened in its wake. In addition to Spun, which pioneered the liquid nitrogen idea in Austin, the Capital City is now full of frosty shops from national players like N2 Cream Co., Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream, and Creamistry.