Farr's Fresh Cafe opens in Layton

May 27 2011 - 10:02pm

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MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner 
Caitlyn Christensen puts some toppings on her ice cream at a new Farr’s Fresh Cafe franchise in Layton recently.
MATTHEW ARDEN HATFIELD/Standard-Examiner 
Caitlyn Christensen puts some toppings on her ice cream at a new Farr’s Fresh Cafe franchise in Layton recently.

LAYTON -- Michael Farr does not easily get excited about ice cream.

What most people see as a delicious treat, Farr sees as work. The American staple dessert had lost its appeal for Farr, a fifth-generation ice cream man in the family business.

But his outlook changed as Farr Better Ice Cream began franchising, with Farr's Fresh Cafes popping up around the state.

"Being involved with this concept, seeing it spring to life, has re-energized passion for me," said the CEO of Farr Better Ice Cream.

The newest cafe recently opened in Layton. The venture has not only returned the excitement of ice cream to Farr, but also given Utahns the opportunity to enjoy the well-known ice cream in a new setting.

"Farr's is instant name recognition for anyone who has lived in Northern Utah," said Ben Hart, Layton's economic development specialist. "It has such a great following, and people recognize the brand is top-quality ice cream."

The first Farr's Fresh Cafe opened in Clinton, and during the first few weeks, Farr saw a young boy grab his mother's hand when they entered the cafe and say, "Look, Mom, it's a Farr's heaven."

"Instantly, I thought, 'Hey, we just hit the ball out of the park with this experience,' " Farr said.

While the cafe idea is still in its infancy, Farr said the plan is for 400 to 800 Farr's Fresh Cafe stores to dot the region. So far, there are locations in Layton, Clinton, South Ogden, EnergySolutions Arena, Orem, Sandy and Vernal.

The Layton location is the seventh Farr's Fresh Cafe; however, this one is unique. The cafe has moved in with Cutler's Cookies & Sandwiches, 1830 N. Hill Field Road.

When the cafe's owners, Danny Wall and Joshua Wiscombe, began looking for a location, they decided to team up with another well-known name in Utah.

"We thought teaming up with Cutler's would be a good match," Wall said.

The franchising idea became a reality thanks to a change in technology.

"We had recipes that we used to make ice cream in since 1930s, and those recipes could never be done in a soft-serve formula," Farr said. "The little secret about food is, the best way to eat it is not after it has been frozen."

Farr said that, until a few years ago, there was no equipment that would allow high-fat ice cream to be served in a soft, fresh form. Now that the technology is available, Farr's can serve its product in a "fresh" form with the same recipes and without the ice cream having been frozen first.

Along with having the fresh form of the ice cream normally sold in higher-priced cartons in grocery stores, the cafes also have frozen yogurt and custard.

"It's a Utah tradition," Wall said. "It has been incorporated for 90 years, and we're excited to be part of that tradition."

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