Moab Garage Co. co-owner Ryan Bird used liquid nitrogen to create ice cream. [Photo by Kathryn Wardenski / Moab Sun News]

Ryan and Erin Bird traveled for one year, experiencing and researching culinary treasures throughout the United States and Canada.

After that time, the Salt Lake City natives decided to call Moab home. In June, they opened Moab Garage Co. at 78 N. Main St., serving a twist on the traditional ice cream cone.

“The idea of living and working in Moab really struck a chord with us,” Ryan Bird said. “With so many great locally owned and operated businesses here, it is very exciting to join Main Street’s evolving landscape.”

Moab Garage Co. serves up flavor and entertainment with its liquid-nitrogen ice cream. Easily mistaken for a science experiment, billowing clouds of fog vent from the stylish, black KitchenAid as they pour liquid nitrogen (LN2) – maintained at -321 degrees – over a vanilla or chocolate ice cream base with fresh, natural ingredients.

Within about a minute, the liquid nitrogen freezes the ingredients together to form an ultra-creamy on-the-spot treat, served in a cup, a cone or in one of their signature Rice Krispie Treat or Fruity Pebble Treat ice cream sandwiches.

Ice cream usually requires additional ingredients to stabilize its properties, like egg yolk or gums, but because this ice cream is made to order, ingredients are clean, straightforward and without preservatives.

“The process of using liquid nitrogen to create ice cream has been around for a long time,” Bird said. “Only recently have the benefits been realized on a larger scale.”

The gas nitrogen, which comprises 78 percent of the air we breathe, has in its cooled-down liquid form become an increasingly popular, creative cooking method for international top-chefs and mixologists.

“We offer a coffee and donuts flavor in which we use our La Barba espresso grinds and glazed donuts to create the flavor,” Bird said.

The Birds teamed up with Salt Lake City-based specialty coffee company La Barba to offer patrons craft coffee and espresso – available from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

La Barba Coffee, whose mission “is to treat people twice as good as (their) coffee tastes,” was founded in 2012 and is excited to enter the Moab marketplace.

According to its website, it offers distinctive single origin and approachable blends and serves a mix of fair trade, direct trade and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees, which it purchases at a premium to pay workable wages to the farmers, co-ops and estates that grow coffee.

“We really like Moab Garage Co.,” La Barba Coffee CEO Josh Rosenthal said. “Their concept is extremely interesting and quite delicious … Combine a great product with their great customer service and they really make us look good.”

Rosenthal and the La Barba team frequent Moab themselves for the Red Hot 33K/55K every February, and they will be sponsoring the Moab 200 race this fall.

“Moab is world-class and brings a lot of great tourism dollars and jobs to our state … We’re big fans,” Rosenthal said.

In addition to coffee and ice cream, Moab Garage Co. offers a general store atmosphere allowing for quick grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, beverages, nitro-caramel popcorn and even eclectic, handcrafted jewelry.

It currently offers a discount to Moab residents and will be rolling out several locals-only discount events in the future.

“Moab is such a melting pot of both tourists and locals from all over the world,” Bird said. “We really enjoy the diversity that exists here.”

New shop scoops up multisensory experience and nitrogen ice cream

“Moab is such a melting pot of both tourists and locals from all over the world. We really enjoy the diversity that exists here.”

When: Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closed on Mondays

Where: 78 N. Main St.

Cost: Varies


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[Video by Kathryn Wardenski / Moab Sun News]