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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Aug. 9, 202212:10 AM EST

Milkster Nitrogen Creamery opening first Northeast Florida location in Miramar

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The franchise owner hopes to open the custom-made ice cream shop in the fall.

The Milkster Nitrogen Creamery Jacksonville is coming to Miramar Plaza near San Marco.

Based in Detroit, the company franchises its concept that uses liquid nitrogen to custom-make every order of what it considers “nicecream” while a customer waits.

“We looked at a couple different ice cream franchises, but we liked this concept,” said franchisee Kristy Iuliano.

“When I tasted this ice cream, I knew this was the one.”

The city is reviewing a building-permit application for Milkster at 3853 Hendricks Ave. in Miramar Plaza, which is under renovation. The site is north of Dunkin’ and Daily’s Dash.

Ticon Commercial LLC is the contractor for the estimated $200,000 renovation of 1,457 square feet of space. Thomas Duke Architect is the architect.

The plaza storefront is the former Foliahom, a plant retailer that moved to 1917 Hendricks Ave.

Iuliano said Aug. 4 she hopes to open in the fall, depending on permitting and the completion of renovations of the plaza by new ownership.

“We are going to take it when we can get it,” she said.

The Milkster Nitrogen Creamery in Indian Land, South Carolina.

Iuliano and her husband, Dominick, are partners in the franchise and she will be the owner and operator on-site. 

“When we bought the franchise we knew we wanted to put in a neighborhood with lots of children and lots of action,” she said.

They moved from West Jacksonville to a “fixer-upper” home they bought near San Marco in October.

Iuliano said they signed the single-location franchise contract in December 2020 and looked for the first site all over Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach.

“We found this location in the San Marco area and I always had San Marco in the back of my mind,” she said.

She said she was impressed that Jacksonville-based buyers Nackashi & Nackashi LLC want to revive the 77-year-old plaza that was once the home of Piner’s Lock & Safe, which continues to operate by driving to customers who need its services.

“When this opportunity finally became available, we dove right in.”

Milkster.com says it has nine locations and others open or coming soon to Jacksonville, Lakeland and Clearwater in Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Windsor, Colorado.

Milkster partnered with the Hope Water Project that helps the Pokot people of Western Kenya with clean water. “With your help, for every cup of ice cream we sell, we’ll donate a cup of water by digging wells for the Pokot people,” the site says.

“We really like the fact that the company gives back,” Iuliano says.

As for franchise fees, Milkster says its concepts start as low as a $25,000 all-in investment including an introductory fee of $12,500.

Sales royalties are 6% plus a 2% contribution to the national brand marketing fund.

It also offers custom licensing opportunities as well as wholesale. 

Iuliano said they bought the first franchise sold in Florida. After the store is established, they might look at other areas of town.

After ingredients are selected, the ice cream is created using liquid nitrogen.

The existing nine Milkster locations comprise seven in Michigan and one each in Ohio and South Carolina, according to the Milkster.com site.

Of those seven Michigan sites, four are inside Biggby Coffee shops.

Milkster.com says Milkster Nitrogen Creamery, also known as Nice Modern Creamery, uses liquid nitrogen to custom-make every order of “nicecream” while a customer waits.

“This provides a super smooth texture while eliminating the need for extra preservatives” and emulsifiers, the website says.

“We strive to use the most organic, natural ingredients available.”

It explains that liquid nitrogen “is nitrogen (which makes up 78% of our atmosphere) in a liquid state.”

“It is -321 degrees and is obviously very cold. Using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream minimizes the size of ice crystals and results in a much creamier ‘nicecream.’”

It says it also tries to use premium local ingredients when possible.

Flavors listed online include Oreos Cookies ‘N Cream; Ferrero Rocher; Home-Cooked Salted Caramel; Fresh Strawberry; Rich Truffle Chocolate; Biscoff Voyage; Madagascar Vanilla Bean; Cookie Dough; Almond Delight Vegan; Fresh Mint; Nutella; and Pumpkin.

It also offers flavor syringes and toppings.

Juliano said she has not established pricing yet. Ingredient costs continue to rise.

To order, a customer selects a cup, decides on a base, such as vanilla or chocolate, and the recipe or custom ingredients.

A Milkster employee then freezes it into ice cream using liquid nitrogen.

“It puts on neat little show,” Iuliano said.

It takes about 20 seconds to freeze and then the customer can add toppings. There also are flavor syringes to inject fillings such as caramel, chocolate and hazelnut.

Milkster will have recipe cards for suggestions. 

She said children enjoy the experience.

The completed Milkster treat.

Milkster offers cups, freshly made waffle cones and minipies. It also has coffee that can be added to the ice cream or to drink.

The ice cream is 15% butterfat and the lack of air makes it creamier. She also offers vegan options. 

Juliano said the Miramar Plaza location will have indoor seating and a walk-up window.

It also will offer an event area for birthday parties and other gatherings. She said she wants to let local businesses know they can use it for employee meetings.

“What better way to have a Friday afternoon than have ice cream and learn about your business?”

The Facebook page is Milkster Nitrogen Creamery Jacksonville.

Iuliano has been a lifelong Jacksonville resident who “always lived on the Westside.” Her background is in biology and chemistry. 

Her husband, a U.S. Air Force veteran, is in the technology field.

Their 19- and 20-year-old daughters are in college.

“The reason why we wanted to go into the ice-cream business is growing up with our daughters, we would always go out for ice cream. We sometimes would have ice cream for dinner,” she said.

“It has always been something fun for our family.”

She said when the daughters left for college, “we decided to do something for us.”

“It is fun to serve people ice cream. No one ever comes into an ice cream store to be sad. They leave happy.”
 

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