The concept of Sweet Snow was the answer to the question we often ask ourselves, “what’s next?”
Meet Cathi Kim. For ten years, she worked in the fashion industry, specifically in designer denim. She travelled all over the country as well as outside of it. Because she wanted to do something different, her tenth year in the fashion industry saw her quit her job, move to Paris, and enroll in a pastry class there since she already had a love for baking and cooking. After six months abroad, she came back to Valencia and, at the urging of a couple of friends, a cupcake shop called Velvet Cupcakes. The cupcake store was a success, with a second location opened at the Westfield mall in Sherman Oaks. However, her partners decided to sell the business.This, of course, left Cathi with the question that’s driven most of her decisions: “what’s next?”. Hence, Sweet Snow came to fruition
“It’s Sweet Snow not Sweets now,” Cathi laughs as she narrates the story behind the name. “I wanted something that described our product: it’s cold and it’s sweet.” You add the polar bear logo and it catches the attention of an unsuspecting passerby and possibly future customer.
As owner and proprietor of this popular dessert place in Northridge, Cathi brings to the table something both familiar and new: a Taiwanese dessert with flavored blocks of ice, shaved in the style of the Hawaiian shaved ice but with the choice of toppings reminiscent of a frozen yogurt store. The result of this amalgamation of elements is what the Sweet Snow regulars keep on coming back to.
“There really wasn’t anything like this in the valley. The closest is probably Blockheads Shavery in Los Angeles.”, she shares, “I definitely wanted Asian flavors like taro, green tea, and black sesame as well as fruity flavors, mango, strawberry.”
When Sweet Snow opened its doors in June 2013, one of the largest customer-base were Filipinos. As a savy business woman, she decided to contact the owner of Ninong’s, a popular Filipino restaurant in the area.
“The owner’s so sweet too. She makes those ube cookies. So, I said, I want those cookies as a topping at my store. And she said, I think that’s a great idea!” Of course, it was a match made in heaven since the Sweet Snow named one of its specialties, Ninong’s Special—taro ice base, almonds, mochi, sweet red bean, ube cookies, topped with condensed milk.
Ms. Kim’s philosophy of catering to her customers, knowing what they like, and making the product available added two more popular Filipino desserts to the menu: the Halo-Halo, a cold dessert of crushed iced, evaporated milk, red beans, ube, coconut jelly, pinipig rice, and jackfruit topped with a scoop of ube ice cream, and leche flan; and the Mais Con Yelo, whole kernel corn with shaved ice, and evaporated milk. Both desserts are served with the Sweet Snow spin.
Sweet Snow serves a dessert that is truly unique. The flavored ice blocks are shaved into a creamy consistency that just melts in your mouth. Add that with multitude of toppings available and you have the perfect contrast to the creamy consistency. Surprisingly, this dessert is not overwhelmingly sweet. It hits that perfect note of sweetness.
In addition, they also sell macaroons and ice cream cookies. Their top three ice cream cookies are the Fruity Pebbles, Ube, and Cookies n’ Cream.
This June, Sweet Snow will be celebrating its sixth year. When asked what the future holds , Cathi responds, “Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t see opening a second location any time soon. But, I’m always open to possibilities.”
Sweet Snow is located at 9420 Reseda Blvd., Suite 7, Northridge, CA 91324. Hours of operations are Monday through Sunday 12pm – 10pm.