Mora Iced Creamery offers sweet treats for Kingston

Ana and Jerry Perez have just opened a new Mora Iced Creamers, featuring gourmet ice cream products, in downtown Kingston. - Kendall Hanson/Staff photo
Ana and Jerry Perez have just opened a new Mora Iced Creamers, featuring gourmet ice cream products, in downtown Kingston.
— image credit: Kendall Hanson/Staff photo

Jerry and Ana Perez of Kingston are bringing their own brand of happiness to Kingston in the best way they know how: they've opened a new ice cream shop.

"Nobody eats ice cream before jumping off a bridge because you can't eat ice cream without becoming happy," said Jerry Perez of Mora Iced Creamery.

The shop is located at 11250 Hwy 104 along the inbound ferry route. Opened on May 20, the Kingston store is one of two. Mora's main store and the factory are located in Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island.

The company originally started in Bellevue Square in 2004, but the Perezes soon decided a mall location was not right for their business.

"We were open too early and had to close too early. In Kingston and Bainbridge, we can be open as late as our customers want, even extend our hours in the summer for the demand," he said.

The couple feels at home at Kingston in both a business and personal sense.

"We are a neighborhood kind of business," Perez said. "We love to interact with our neighbors and be part of a small community. We looked at several locations over several months time, but decided that Kingston is just beautiful, has good traffic from the ferry, has tremendous growth potential and is truly the right kind of place for us."

Although location is important, it is the ice cream itself that drives the company's success. Several factors makes Mora stand out from other ice creams: only the finest and freshest ingredients find their way into Mora Iced Creamery's goods. They're also particular about their butterfat, using only half that found in commercial ice creams, Perez said. To top it off, Mora ice cream has all natural ingredients and no additives, flavorings or coloring.

Mora's selection, which customers are invited to sample, is as unique as it is tasty. The Italian chocolate ice cream is made with genuine Belgian chocolate, French cognac and fresh walnuts from California.

"Sabayon resembles a popular Italian dessert," Perez said. "Its most distinctive flavor is the one created by the Italian Marsala wine we use to produce it."

Flavors such as gianduja, a hazelnut chocolate with fresh hand-shelled and hand-ground hazelnuts, and banana split, made with real bananas, chocolate shavings and swirled dulce de leche (a type of caramel), will give customers a sense of what gourmet ice cream can truly be.

There are two myths in ice cream making, he said. "The first is that more butterfat makes a higher quality ice cream. But that's like saying more alcohol makes a better wine. The truth is that right mix of ingredients and preparation are what count."

The second myth, he said, are the claims many ice creams make about being fresh.

"In most cases, the ice cream is made 'on demand' but with a pre-mixed powder base," he said. "We make everything from scratch with all natural fresh ingredients. In fact, we have to actually age some of our ice creams the way you would age a fine wine, although not nearly as long."

More to the point, Ana Perez said, "Ice cream creates good memories, a happy moment.Everyone recalls the happy moments when they have been eating ice cream, especially with family and friends. Our purpose for the feeling of the store and the care we use to prepare the ice cream is to help our customers relive and relish those moments."

Although we naturally expect children to come in for ice cream, we've really designed the store to have an adult environment," Jerry said.

The store is located at 11250 NE State Highway 104. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 11:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday.

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