Almost everyone has a weakness for sweet treats, so one can never go wrong with opening up a dessert joint. Four high school friends decided to do just that by combining their talents and resources with business savvy to create Fluff Ice. Asian-American entrepreneurs Matthew Hui, Annie Tran, Nick Huang, and David Wang, saw the opportunity to introduce a food trend, which started in Taiwan and is very popular in Asia, but still unbeknownst to many in the U.S. market. The story of how they started Fluff Ice is almost as exciting as this dreamy treat. After dodging some funding difficulties, they took the big leap in April 2011 and opened up their first location.
It’s almost impossible to miss it when you find yourself strolling through the modern and luxurious premises of Atlantic Times Square in the urban hub of the city of Monterey Park. Tall glass windows give way to the store’s well-lit interiors spiked with citrus shades of blue and green. It has a feel similar to that of other frozen yogurt bars, but with more personality. Perhaps it’s because they’ve got their branding down pat. Meet Fluff the Cloud, the smiling little mascot floating above their logo and welcoming all those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth. Anyone who wonders what it’s like to eat clouds will know after a visit to Fluff Ice.
Who knew frozen treats could get any better? Like me, you’re probably thinking, “Oh no, not another copycat place. There’s too many of them already!” For dessert lovers, let me tell you: they’ve taken it up a notch. To put it quite simply, Fluff Ice is shaved ice with a twist. There are a million international varieties of shaved ice, but the Taiwanese version they’ve mastered has a soft, creamy texture that melts right in your mouth. “The trend is huge in Asia and we are the first and only specialty store right now in Southern California that offers this unique product,” shares co-owner and the company’s marketing specialist Matthew Hui.
The art is in the ice itself. It is meant to be fine and fluffy—neither too crunchy, nor too dense and wet—and blend seamlessly into the toppings. To achieve this blocks of ice are first flavored before shaving them off as opposed to the other way around. The rest of the process is hidden in the company vault.
Don’t fret if you’re new to the concept. The ordering process has been narrowed down to three easy steps. First you choose your size, whether a small, regular, or large cup depending on your appetite. Then you are asked to pick your Fluff. There’s a bevy of options from their four start-up flavors (original, mango, strawberry, and green tea) and the recent addition of chocolate, kiwi, peach, and taro. Lastly, you can choose up to two toppings from a bevy of options on their white brick counter. You can sprinkle your Fluff with scoops of fruit (mango, strawberry), jellos (lychee jelly, mango jelly) nuts and chocolate (sliced almonds, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, Oreo) baby gummy bears, and sweet fillings including red bean, egg and taro pudding. Premium topping like boba and mocha can be added at an extra cost. The result is a bowl of pure heaven and more so when you opt for a drizzle of condensed milk to complement the marriage of all the delectable ingredients. For the diet-conscious, it bears good news. Fluff Ice may be creamy like ice cream, but it actually contains half the fat. Whether you’re planning a post-Valentine’s Day date or trying to escape the high temperatures on some days, Fluff Ice is the place to find relief for your dessert craving. Visit Fluff ice at 500 N. Atlantic Blvd. Suite #153, Monterey Park, CA 91754. You can also connect with them via Facebook and Twitter or call (626) 872-2123.