Moorer, however, remained in good spirits. He opened for takeout almost immediately, pushing his grand opening back by two weeks. In late March, the young entrepreneur told Pittsburgh City Paper that, though this wasn’t the opening he imagined, the future for Happy Day Dessert Factory was “looking extremely bright.” He wasn’t wrong.
Moorer is still scooping four months later, often to a crowd.
His menu is extensive. It starts with standard ice cream: traditional, housemade, hard ice cream, and held in giant tubs behind a glass window. The flavors — which rotate regularly from a bill of over 50 — can be anything from black raspberry to Danish cream.
A scoop of Moorer’s chocolate Reese’s peanut butter cup proved to be the perfect median between the two flavors. It was surprisingly creamy, save for the occasional nib of chocolate or streak of peanut butter. A scoop of berry crunch was light and refreshing, similar to a black raspberry but with actual berry pieces in it. It was reminiscent of a freshly baked berry crumble, dotted with small pieces of a cakey, pie-like crust.
Happy Day Dessert Factory goes beyond hard ice cream, too. Moorer also twists soft-serve custard into bowls and cones, or in my case, sandwiched it between two freshly-baked white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.
Then, there are the signature treats. Combine one of the thirteen flavors of italian ice (a non-dairy option) with a twist of custard and it makes the stacker. Moorer’s father used to own the Rita’s franchise on East Ohio Street, so Moorer is well accustomed to mixing custard and italian ice. Blend it, and the treat becomes an ice-like shake. Throw a few toppings in with soft-serve, hard ice cream, or water ice, mix it together, and you have one of the shop’s twisters.
If Happy Day Dessert Factory’s neverending menu of flavors and combinations seems a bit intimidating — I am known to panic order if I encounter a large menu — I suggest starting small. Go for a scoop of Moorer’s top-notch ice cream; it’s so good, it doesn’t need much else.
Happy Day Dessert Factory. 906A Western Ave., North Side. happydaydessertfactory.com