For anyone who does not live in Seattle, Molly Moons is an acclaimed, local, homemade ice cream parlor chain. As an avid ice cream consumer, connoisseur, and critique, I have finally made up my mind on what I truly think about Molly Moon’s. Please note that I do not work for Molly Moons, have never worked for Molly Moons, but I really wouldn’t mind a job there if one ever becomes available.
Molly Moons is slightly controversial depending on who you talk to (usually it’s those who hate any kind of shape or form of politics and penny pinchers). And I will agree, it most definitely has its pros and cons.
For starters, it is an absolutely fantastic local business. That’s not my problem, at all, no. Personally I think Molly Moons is one of the best run local/small companies in the damn city. First let’s talk about the actual, physical shops themselves: the aesthetic is charming and incredibly fitting. Majority of the time, someone is working at the waffle cone making station, hand making your waffle cone and it makes the whole shop smell phenomenal. Employees are friendly and I’ve never had a complaint about them.
Secondly, Molly Moons is all aboard the ‘let’s-make-the-world-a-better-place’ train with compostable product and packaging, they source 90% of their ingredients from the Pacific Northwest (that’s huge), they invest in wind power, and they donate their ice cream to raise money for nonprofits, support public school programs and treat food bank customers.
On top of that, they are probably one of the best entry-level type jobs you could ask for: not only are you working at an ice cream shop and you are allowed to eat as much ice cream as you want but you also get…(taken directly from their website, mind you)
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance. Molly Moon’s pays 100% of premium.
- Subsidized ORCA transit pass (aka Seattle’s metro pass)
- Subsidized gym membership to a partner gym on Capitol Hill + free company yoga once a week on Capitol Hill
- 12 weeks 100% paid family leave for women and men bringing new children home through birth, fostering, or adoption.
- Up to 12 weeks 70% paid family leave for other FMLA qualifying events.
- Career advancement opportunities in our growing company
- Competitive bonus program for leadership positions
- Predictable monthly schedules
Oh, and employees get to help make the playlists they play in the shops
Lastly, the hours of operation are genius: most shops are open from noon until 11:00pm. Most nights, from my experience, around 9 or 10 at night, there is usually a line out the door. Yes, even in the dead of winter. Late-night ice cream cravings bring serious business, folks. Also, because all the ice cream is homemade, the later you go, the bigger the scoops become because they kind of want to get rid of the ice so tomorrow they can serve you a fresh batch.
At this point, I would be surprised if the thought of “I’m moving to Seattle” has not crossed your mind yet.
Here is the controversial part: because Molly Moon’s is super dedicated to being local and because they are a very Seattle (*cough* liberal *cough*) brand, they are also very political. I personally love this, but I would assume that some more conservative visitors might not be too happy about it. The most obvious example would be that their latest ice cream flavor is “Hillary Rodham Cookie Dough.” It “play[s] homage to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s award winning cookie recipe…” It’s basically a snickerdoodle cookie dough ice cream, in case you were wondering.
‘Wow, Molly Moons sounds like a fantastic brand, why would there be any problem with it?’ My only problem with the brand is its actual product: the ice cream. It’s way overhyped. Molly Moon’s ice cream isn’t actually that great. I’ve had almost all the flavors and have been more disappointed that pleased every time: the major thing is that the flavors are not bold at all. It’s like a slight taste of the flavor you wanted. If you like bold, ‘this-is-exactly-what-I-ordered’ kind of flavor, Molly Moon’s is not for you. I have also noticed that the ice creams are not as creamy as they claim to be: majority of them are on the icier side, sort of gritty, and there is too much air in the ice creams (which can give off a weird mouthfeel). The vegan ice creams are also incredibly icy and always seem to have coconut flakes in them. I’ve had much better store bought vegan ice creams.
Then there is the cost. Molly Moon’s has a hefty price tag for ice cream. Even though they give you fairly big scoops (they also get bigger the closer to closing time it becomes), it’s still like $6 for a single scoop with a waffle cone. Also, sadly, I find that the waffle cones smell better than the taste: the taste, like the ice creams, is on the bland side.
As much as I love how Molly Moons runs their business and how strong their brand is, the end product doesn’t satisfy me. If I’m going to pay $6 for a single scoop of ice cream, it has to be some pretty damn good ice cream. There are plenty of other local ice cream brands that I rather end up buying from just because of the price point and quality/taste of the ice cream.