Sep 1, 2023 - Food and Drink

This company is bringing frozen custard to the Richmond region

Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

Frozen custard is very much a Midwest thing.

What's happening: Jiji Frozen Custard is working hard to change that in the metro area.

  • The company, which launched in 2019, has grown to two trucks and 10 employees, and it boasts that it's the only ice cream-maker in the region scooping fresh-made custard, per Chase Appich, who co-founded the company with his wife, Kendall.

Why it matters: When they say fresh, they mean fresh.

  • The couple makes their product right on the truck in a specialized freezer that extrudes a thick, steady stream of custard — the only real way to do it, they say.

What they're saying: "I call it ice cream's super smooth cousin," says Appich.

Zoom in: Frozen custard is eggier, denser and even a little warmer than standard ice cream.

  • And that temp is important, Appich says. Whereas a standard, fluffy ice cream is stored around 5°F and still scoopable, custard would be frozen solid at that temp.
  • Making it fresh on the truck allows them to scoop it up for customers before it's had a chance to freeze down — typically around 20°F.

What's next: The couple is eying a move to a brick-and-mortar shop/drive-thru, but still looking for the right space.

Of note: They carry the cult favorite topping wet nuts, made by an undisclosed local supplier.

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