Soft Cream, as they call it here in Japan, is ice cream that is softer than regular ice cream – like what you would get at Dairy Queen. This treat is ubiquitous in Japan and comes in a number of wild and unique flavors – wasabi, sesame, ume or plum, rose, pumpkin, peach, and grape, just to name a few. I personally like regular ice cream over soft cream, but there is this place in downtown Zushi that has the best soft cream I’ve ever eaten.
The place is called “MooMoo’s” and is located right across the street from Shin-Zushi Station (Keikyu Zushi Line). The ice cream shop can’t be more than 200 square feet and they have a pretty straight forward menu – soft cream and coffee. They rotate flavors out every few weeks and usually have two or three to choose from. This week’s flavors were rum-raisin and crunchy cafe milk. I decided on the rum-raisin cone and my wife got the crunchy cafe cone – just to be different. I’m not sure what their secret is, but their soft cream is so smooth and creamy and has such a pure and satisfying taste, that it puts all other soft cream I’ve ever tasted to shame. In fact, since we had our first soft cream cone at this little shop about 4 years ago, I have yet to find anything that compares in quality. From what I understand, they use fresh milk from a farm in Hayama.
The place is making a mint too. We sat there for about 10 minutes eating our little taste of heaven and there must have been about 20 people who stopped by to grab a cone. At an average price of 350 yen (or US$4.35) per con, the margins must be incredible because there certainly not a lot of overhead required for this business. I’m estimating the owner is easily clearing six figures in profits from this dinky operation. And every time we have visited this place, there are always people sitting around eating soft cream. It just goes to show you that you don’t need some large complicated business to make good money – a simple menu, high quality product, low overhead and good location seems to be all they needed to have a highly successful business.
So if you are ever find yourself in the city of Zushi, I highly recommend you stop by this little unassuming soft cream shop and I think you’ll be very delighted with the experience.