If your a true foodie and you live in Bakersfield, you've most likely enjoyed a delicious meal from the creative and adventurous menu at Moo Creamery.
Richard Yoshimura along with his wife Jessica have owned what they described as a 'gourmet diner' since 2008. We visited the restaurant to explore the story behind the operation that has been going strong, despite customers limited access to their Truxtun Avenue location.
Nearly 3 years ago, access to Moo's parking lot directly from Truxtun Avenue was closed off to make way for the Westside Parkway. Customers must now use a stoplight about 300 yards west of their original turn off, and drive all the way around to the back of the restaurant where they can gain access to the parking lot. It's something Richard thought may hurt their business, but in the end, it helped build a strong, more loyal customer base. "We decided it was fight or flight," Yoshimora said. "We're going to have to try harder, and we're going to have to be better," he said.
And they have.
Richard and his wife have added items to the menu that challenge the status quo of cooking in Kern County. They prepare eleven different gourmet burgers for every palate, including the peanut butter and jelly burger...a crowd favorite. They serve popular breakfast items like the chilaquiles, all prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Richard says he has established relationships with local farmers that supply the restaurant with much of the meat, vegetables and condiments used in many items.
And then there's the ice cream. Dozens of unique flavors, some changed weekly that round out the perfect meal. But there are the flavors of ice cream that have stuck, and created a lot of buzz for returning customers. Take the bacon maple ice cream...Ricahrd says it was the first ice cream they made. His wife had the idea. "She had a small commercial grade ice cream machine in her apartment, so she went home made a batch of bacon ice cream brought it to work, shared it with her co-workers, and then went nuts over it," he said. That was 7 years ago, when they were living in Los Angeles.
That's when they decided to move to Bakersfield and open Moo Creamery. "Who knew that we were going to open a place together, and then actually prepare it, sell it, and it’s actually been one of our best sellers for the past 7 years," Richard said.
That success over the better part of a decade, is due in large part to the loyal customers that go out of their way (literally) to support the restaurant and enjoy their creative offerings. It's something that Richard and his wife Jessica say has kept their dreams of owning a restaurant alive.
I know when I think of the 'American Dream' I think of them. Business owners who didn't weaver in the face of change and mounting pressures...but rather business owners who rose to the occasion, and delivered delicious results.
Tim Calahan is the 5,6 & 11p.m. anchor for 23ABC. If you have an idea for an upcoming 'Made in Kern County' segment and would like to request him to highlight your business, please fill out the contact information to the right.