The new MN Nice Cream brings Insta-worthy cones to Northeast

The soft serve business, with a newly expanded menu, offers ice cream and a rainbow of toppings.

Madison Thorsfeldt and Anne Johansen hold up their ice cream to take photos at MN Nice Cream in northeast Minneapolis on Sunday, April 8.

Image by Easton Green

Madison Thorsfeldt and Anne Johansen hold up their ice cream to take photos at MN Nice Cream in northeast Minneapolis on Sunday, April 8.

by Maddy Folstein

MN Nice Cream, the colorful soft serve truck that’s been seen everywhere from Twin Cities block parties to the Eaux Claires music festival since 2016, has found a new home in Northeast as of March 16. Its brick-and-mortar location is filled with rainbow stripes, succulents and a fluorescent ice cream cone sign. In other words, it’s Instagram heaven, and owner Katie Romanski has designed the business as such since she opened her first truck.

“My main goal was to keep it Instagram-able because Instagram was just on the up-and-up, and I love Instagram,” Romanski said. “I [decided] to just make everything cute with stripes, glitter and fun.”

Along with offering Northeast residents Romanski’s colorful soft serve, the new location is a home for MN Nice Cream’s two trucks and a trailer, which will be traveling around the Twin Cities and beyond this summer.

“I bought another truck, and I have a trailer for festivals, so I needed a home,” Romanski said. “I can’t keep using other people’s commercial kitchens, and I saw this popped up. I love Northeast … and Uptown and South [Minneapolis] are really saturated with ice cream.”

The Northeast location offers a menu that extends beyond ice cream, with breakfast burritos, sandwiches, soup, coffee and pastries.

“[The ice cream] is really light, and it’s all about my homemade toppings,” Romanski said. “Now that I have my own kitchen, I can do the cheesecake, the puppy chow, the cookie dough, the brownies — everything we load on there. It’s all made in my kitchen, and we just started making tie dye waffle cones.”

MN Nice Cream’s cones are topped with everything from puppy chow to their signature edible glitter, and each cone comes with three toppings. A customer (and employee) favorite? The Fun Cone, topped with sprinkles, Fruity Pebbles, gummies and glitter, of course.

“The name says it all,” said Erin Mackaman, a new MN Nice Cream employee and a University of Minnesota student studying strategic communications.

Romanski is partial to the puppy chow.

“Puppy chow is the newest addition, which my mom used to put in my lunch box when I was little,” Romanski said. “What’s not to love about crunchy powdered sugar and peanut butter? With the ice cream, it’s really good.”

The opening has been, for the most part, an Instagram secret for the store’s loyal online following.

“It’s kind of like a speakeasy. If you don’t know that we’re here, you can’t find us,” Romanski said. “We’re kind of hidden in that way. People are embracing that a bit.”

Despite the snow and freezing temperatures that have lingered since MN Nice Cream opened in March, customers have still been lining up. Even at 9:30 a.m. last Friday morning, with heavy wind and 18-degree weather, parents brought in their kids to have MN Nice Cream for breakfast.

“The opening exceeded all of our expectations as far as the reception … but the weekend days are primetime for ice cream, and it’s still only 20 degrees out,” said Brett Ley, Romanski’s boyfriend who has watched the business grow from the beginning.

Romanski, along with a small team, opened the Northeast location in about 10 days, which speaks to the dedication and passion behind the business.

“She’s the crux and the heart of the whole operation … She is nothing but one of the hardest workers I know, and she is extremely passionate about the idea and the concepts,” Ley said. “What really drives that passion is not for money … What drives her is seeing those people smiling as she’s handing over those beautiful, crazy concoctions on ice cream cones.”

Where: MN Nice Cream, 807 Broadway St. NE #102, Minneapolis