Chances are you’ve seen the majestic bowls of frilly snow ice around Greenwich Village (or on Instagram). Quite distinct in appearance and texture, NY Frost Factory’s “snow ice” is shaved ice cream that’s fluffy and sweet, yet also creamy and refreshing. Originating in Taiwan, this dessert has flavors like taro, matcha, strawberry, and lychee. In addition, there are special flavors of the month, which have included lemon and black currant in the past.
This unique sweet shop’s goal is to provide guests with as authentic a Taiwanese shaved ice experience as possible, going so far as to train their staff in Taiwan. Moreover, the machinery and ingredients — such as the boba, those tapioca balls found in bubble tea — are imported from Taiwan. Popular combinations include the Mango Madness, which comes with mango shaved ice, fruity pebbles, mochi, mango boba, and condensed milk; and the My Match, which features matcha shaved ice, Oreos, strawberry boba, grass jelly, and a Nutella drizzle.
We spoke with owner James Wong on how this dessert phenomenon got started and where he sees it heading.
The Daily Meal: What inspired Frost Factory?
James Wong: NY Frost Factory started because of one partner's love for this dessert. The team set up training and production in Taiwan. One and a half years later, the doors to NY Frost Factory finally opened on August 8, 2016. [Eight is a lucky number in Chinese culture.] The reception has been absolutely amazing. We are excited and energized to introduce new flavors each month. We are really excited to see which flavors become permanent additions.
Why is it important to import certain ingredients from Taiwan?
The goal of the company is to serve authentic Taiwanese snow ice in New York City. We were trained in Taipei and everything we use is imported from Taiwan, besides items we must get locally, such as fruits and candies. This is as authentic as we can possibly make it here in the city.
Any exciting plans for the shop going into summer?
This is the team’s first business and the only Frost Factory. The vast majority of our customers are pleasantly surprised with the unique texture; it's soft, fluffy and very light. We are excited to bring this one-of-a-kind texture to New York. We are amazed that we are still maintaining a five-out-of-five-star rating on Yelp.