Quick. Fresh. Now.

Elizabeth Rund

Ice cream gets a makeover

Credit: DKS Editors

The ice cream revolution has begun. No more are students tied to pre-packaged ice cream that has been sitting in a freezer for days or even weeks. Now introducing MooBella – the only automated machine that produces fresh made-to-order ice cream in a speedy 45 seconds.

MooBella has only recently been grabbing headlines after appearing in Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, Washington Journal and even featured on Food Network’s hit show “Unwrapped.”

“The machines are the same size as traditional soda vending machines,” said Sandra Goldfarb, a member of Tier One Partners, a PR firm working with MooBella.

When a customer places an order, the machine opens a sealed all-natural dairy mix and mixes in the flavoring of choice. Once flavoring is added, the mix is “flash frozen,” or chilled quickly.

After being frozen, candy can be mixed in before the ice cream is dropped into a cup, all taking about 45 seconds.

The software prevents waste by automatically portioning the ice cream into 4.5-ounce scoops and keeping the temperature consistent.

Even the cleanup between orders is handled by the machine’s software. Daily cleanup, however, is handled by a food service technician where the machine is placed.

To ensure freshness and cleanliness, the candies, flavoring and the dairy mixes are in separate, sealed containers. Additionally, all of the ingredients can be shipped and stored unrefrigerated.

Not only did MooBella create the technology, but it also employs its own food scientists to develop the recipes for a variety of flavors that have yet to be added to machines.

Each machine is capable of holding 12 different flavors at once, Goldfarb said. The flavors and the mix-ins can vary from location to location depending on business.

Flavors range from the traditional chocolate, vanilla and strawberry to more unique tastes of banana, black raspberry, pistachio and maple.

In addition to the 12 different flavors, each machine holds three of five possible mix-in options. Mix-ins include chocolate chips, peanut butter cups and colorful chocolate candies.

Each machine can produce two different types of ice cream, premium and low fat, creating 96 tasty combinations.

Although MooBella is currently field testing the machine in and around Boston and in parts of New England, it has plans to expand. The company receives inquiries about the machine every day from all over the world, Goldfarb said.

“College campuses have been very responsive,” she said.

Junior classics major Lisa Weegar said she would stop at the machine if it were more convenient than going somewhere else.

“It’s kind of new and exciting,” she said.

Goldfarb describes MooBella’s machine as “an ATM for ice cream.”

The monitor walks customers through the entire process and then shows them what stage of development the ice cream is in.


• 3.5 feet wide

• 6.5 feet high

• 2.75 feet deep

• 45 seconds to make

• 12 flavors

• Five possible mix-ins

• 4.5-ounce scoop

• Has seven commercial dishwasher-safe parts compared to 33 on a normal soft-serve ice cream machine.


MooBella has been described as “faster than the speed of latte.”

“You control what happens and watch it on the monitor,” Goldfarb said. “It only takes 45 seconds for something fresh. It can take longer than that at places like Starbucks.”

MooBella has been praised by Time Magazine as one of the best inventions of 2006 and by Reader’s Digest as number three on America’s 100 Best of 2007.

MooBella also received the 2006 Kitchen’s Innovations Award from the National Restaurant Association and the “Icy Innovations” award from the Food Network in April of 2007.

Contact features reporter Elizabeth Rund at [email protected].