With Softhaus, homegrown dessert whiz Janice Wong is setting out to conquer more sweet-toothed junkies. The ice cream store – it’s hard to miss those splashes of pink, yellow, red, turquoise, and cobalt at #B1-K135 Great World – seeks to be, in her own words, “a happy place for people – where ice cream is for everyone”.
By that, Janice has conceived a menu of 16 delicious flavours, from Avocado Banana to Coconut Lime and Pear Thyme Sorbet. Personalise your creation with toppings such as Strawberry Popping Boba and Cotton Candy. Finally, you can decide to enjoy it from a waffle cone or cup, or between rainbow-coloured bread (find out more here).
Working with Vertex Ventures SEA to deliver fresh experiences by incorporating technology into the creation process of her desserts, Janice has pulled out all stops to make Softhaus fun and exciting. Digital motion and animations aside, it even has a mobile check-out page to keep lines moving more seamlessly.
Why ice cream?
Janice Wong: For me, while growing up, ice cream has always been synonymous with fun and enjoyment. So I wanted to build a wonderland for all, both adults and children. That’s why Softhaus was created to offer “ice cream for everyone” – tap into your imagination to create and enjoy ice cream. For grown-ups especially, I hope that Softhaus can bring back childhood memories and the simple joy of savouring a good ice cream.
The first time you had ice cream?
Janice Wong: I grew up in Japan so I had my first ice cream there. I absolutely love Hokkaido’s milk ice cream, it’s very creamy and delicious!
What was the name Softhaus inspired by?
Janice Wong: We initially arrived at two names: Softhouse and Pophouse. Eventually I decided that Softhaus best embodied what we were trying to achieve. “Soft” resonates with the creamy texture of the ice cream we serve; “house” points to the space we’re trying to build where guests can find a place to create desserts of their own and enjoy them.
Softhaus offers 16 flavours. What was the toughest to create?
Janice Wong: To create a more inclusive menu and cater to a wide range of dietary requirements, we included 8 keto-friendly and 7 plant-based flavours. That was quite a challenge – ice cream is typically known for its high sugar and high fat content. One of our keto-friendly flavours is Roasted Pistachio, for which we worked with sugar substitutes. The simplicity and elegance of pistachio ice cream is already quite difficult to capture, so nailing the perfect flavour became a bit trickier. I’m very proud that we achieved it and can’t wait for our customers to try it.
How else do you try to make Softhaus different from other ice cream concepts?
Janice Wong: At Softhaus, we place extreme importance and care on the ingredients used. For example, our chocolate is from Colombia, and the vanilla and coffee flavours are derived from single-origin herbs and spices. This makes for a more ethical production process; as we have complete control of our sources, we can be transparent with customers about the quality of our ingredients. Single-origin ingredients also better support farmers and providers of goods by allowing them to secure fairer prices. Better yet, these ingredients give our ice cream more distinctive and nuanced flavours.
Finally, best way to enjoy ice cream?
Janice Wong: I don’t have a preference. Having ice cream is all that matters!