Sub Zero owner Jack Walsh uses liquid nitrogen to whip up a batch of ice cream Sept. 7 at the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The Federal Way franchise is the first in Washington.

Ice cream in a flash: Washington’s first Sub Zero franchise opens in Federal Way

Federal Way Mirror Editor
September 13, 2011 · Updated 5:21 PM

Washington’s first Sub Zero ice cream shop opens this week in Federal Way, and owner Jack Walsh promises a treat for eyes as well as mouths.

Each ice cream dish is made to order and flash frozen with liquid nitrogen — bringing temperatures to 321 degrees below zero and creating a science-lab scene as a white cloud bubbles over the bowl. The sweet concoction turns from liquid to frozen ice cream in about 15 seconds. Customers can choose from an array of flavors and “mix-ins.”

Walsh and crew handed out samples to wide-eyed onlookers Sept. 7 at the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce luncheon. He got the idea to open a franchise after his daughter and wife raved about their experiences at Sub Zero stores in other states.

The Federal Way location has been in the works for more than a year, and officially opens Sept. 14 at 31653 Pacific Highway S. (next to Best Buy).

For the past month, Sub Zero has served ice cream at the weekly Federal Way Farmers Market and had a booth at the Sand Sculpting Tournament of Champions.

This is Walsh’s first foray into the ice cream business, following a career in outside sales and public relations. He also owned small vending business a number of years ago.

“I’m a 27-year resident of Federal Way and I’m really excited we were able to start the business in Federal Way,” said Walsh, who also handles media relations for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Federal Way. “It’s great quality ice cream, totally customized, plus it’s a great experience and a great show.”

Based in Boise, Idaho, Sub Zero has stores in Arizona and Utah with one opening soon in California. Walsh said he will have area developer franchise rights in the Puget Sound area for future locations.

To learn more, visit or call Walsh at (253) 335-8113.


Contact Federal Way Mirror Editor Andy Hobbs at or 253-925-5565 ext. 5050.