Cindy and Dave Somasunderam are no strangers to the food industry. The two met while working at a restaurant and have been married for almost 33 years. Now, they’re opening Blue Spoon Microcreamery on Franklin Street where Sugarland used to be.
Blue Spoon is no ordinary ice cream shop. What makes the Somasunderam’s ice cream unique is that they use liquid nitrogen to freeze it, which Cindy said makes for smoother, denser ice cream.
“It’s a more compact ice cream and everybody seems to love it,” she said.
The couple first opened an ice cream shop in Palo Alto, California, and it was the first liquid nitrogen ice cream shop in Silicon Valley. Cindy said the new freezing technology was a success on the West Coast.
“They were excited about it there,” she said. “People in Palo Alto are always looking for something new, and they liked it.”
The Somasunderams, who are originally from the northeast, recently moved back to the East Coast and have been in Chapel Hill for about a year. Cindy said the people of Chapel Hill have already been receptive to their ice cream.
“We’ve only been open a few days and we already have some new repeat customers,” she said. “They love it. They love the idea of the liquid nitrogen and they love the taste of it. It just makes better ice cream.”
The freezing technology of Blue Spoon’s ice cream may be modern, but the shop’s atmosphere is meant to be homey and classic. The Somasunderams described Blue Spoon as a mom and pop shop, and one where they hope everyone will feel welcome.
Cindy said she aims for Blue Spoon to be a bright spot in people’s days, and a place where they can unwind. There is plenty of seating in the shop, which she hopes people will use to relax, do their work or just hang out if they like.
“We like making people feel welcome and, I guess if there’s stress or they’re having a rough day, they can come in here and they’ll feel better when they eat our ice cream,” Cindy said. “That’s the goal: making people’s day.”
In addition to ice cream, Blue Spoon sells a selection of coffee and espresso drinks that Cindy said go well with ice cream. The shop will also feature local artwork on the walls to help support local artists — an effort close to Cindy’s heart, as she is an artist who primarily paints abstract acrylics on canvas and furniture.
The ice cream is made from scratch in the store, which the Somasunderams believe shows in its quality. Cindy said Dave makes the best ice cream, and her favorite flavors are dark chocolate and maple bacon crunch, which is made with bacon brittle.
At the end of the day, Cindy said her goal as a business owner is to make her customers happy. After all, she said, everyone is happy when they’re eating ice cream.
“We just like making people happy,” Cindy said. “That’s it. If you can have a successful business and make people happy, what more can you want?”
Reporting via Maeve Sheehey