Photos by Asia Morris.
Snow Monster’s fourth location and first venture into Los Angeles County is now open in Long Beach, thanks to business partners CFO Kathy Vu’s and CEO Ta Chirayos’ love for Belmont Shore’s Second Street vibes. While known for having lines out the door on a nightly basis at their three other Orange County locations, Snow Monster hopes to fill what Vu and Chirayos saw as missing from Second Street’s wide array of eateries.
“It's a beautiful street filled with amazing businesses and we felt that the community was missing a gathering place for desserts,” said Vu.
And they may be onto something. Granted, cold confections to Second Street are like Starbucks stores to Seattle, with Creamistry, Paradis, Thrifty’s Ice Cream at Rite Aid, Yogurtland and Frosted Cupcakery with their Ice Cream Cupcake, but they’re not all the most suitable locations to spend ample amounts of time, not to discount the absolutely delectable delights these purveyors produce.
Creamistry can be loud and sterile, Yogurtland is often too crowded and overwhelmingly candy colored, Paradis lacks seating and well, if you’re grabbing ice cream from Rite Aid, you’ve probably already planned to stroll with it.
Snow Monster is smack dab in the middle of Second Street, meaning plenty of people watching, not to mention the shop has tons of seating, indoor and out, and games like Jenga if you want to stay awhile. It also has a neutral, minimal decor that highlights the beauty of what you’re consuming, without shoving any branding down your throat.
“I hope that our guests feel a sense of community when they come to Snow Monster,” said Vu. “We worked so hard to create a happy place for our guests to hang out and enjoy each other's company over high-quality and unique desserts.”
As far as staying relevant in a time when millennial-attracting trends tend to fade in and out as quickly as a hastily lit match, Snow Monster aims to create a lifestyle by integrating seamlessly into their location’s surrounding communities and constantly innovating. As the self-proclaimed first to offer made-to-order macaron ice cream sandwiches, Snow Monster also offers an array of jar drinks, as well as shaved snow, a Taiwanese shaved ice-inspired dessert sharing some divine space between the quintessential syrup-soaked, quickly melting shaved ice and ice cream.
In an effort to continuously push the envelope, Snow Monster’s menu is always evolving, thanks to the work done in their “innovation lab” in Huntington Beach. Vu mentioned Belmont Shore’s growing dog population as a major inspiration for a very Long Beach-tailored product.
“We are both huge animal lovers and absolutely adore seeing all the dogs that are taken on walks on Second street,” she said. “We're currently working on made-from-scratch doggy treats.”
So “eat dessert, be a monster,” or at least let your dog indulge, as you walk past Second Street’s most recent addition to the block.
Snow Monster is located at 5211 East Second Street.