Ten years ago, office worker Soraya Printrakul spent her free time making ice cream for her kids and her friends. Seven years ago, she decided to turn her hobby into a career, resigning from her job and opening a cafe she named Happy Plus offering aromatic coffee, smoothies and lots of home-made ice creams.
Located in front of Mae Fah Luang University Chiang Rai, Happy Plus is popular with students as well as families. The ambience is warm and friendly with white wooden tables, chairs and comfy sofas and green walls painted with lovely cartoons.
The main attraction is the big freezer packed with more than 20 kinds of American-style ice cream. Soraya uses local fruits to make her delectable ice cream and her flavours include phu lae pineapple, mango with chilli and salt, pomegranate, guava and passion fruit.
You’ll also find double chocolate, cookie & cream, chocolate cookies, jelly, caramel, kiwi, banana chip, Hokkaido milk, rum raisin, peanut butter, mint, black sesame, banana strawberry, kit kat and cashew nut.
Unsurprisingly, the students love the ice creams made with just a dash of alcohol – among them beer, Spy red and margarita. Calorie counters may prefer a low-sorbet made from cherry berry, guava, pomegranate and passion fruit. Prices range from Bt29 to Bt75.
“I want to offer a variety of flavours. Right now, customers can choose from about 20 every day,” Soraya says. “Where Happy Plus is different from other shops is that I use local fruits to make my ice cream and I blend in local seasonings. My alcohol ice creams made with beer and cocktails go down a treat.”
During our visit, Soraya recommends a scoop of sour mango ice cream mixed with chilli and salt, rum-phu lae and spy red, each costing Bt29. Those who want something smooth should sample a yummy Hokkaido milk ice cream served in happy strawberry sauce for Bt39.
A hot happy brownie comes with ice cream goes for Bt55 and sorbet scoops of pomegranate and cherry berry are Bt29 a pop. Other desserts include happy chocolate cake, happy croissant stuffed with ice cream, happy banana boat, and happy jelly.
“Now, my products are available in many restaurants and cafes around Chiang Rai. I’m planning to launch a new brand of cocktail ice creams for older customers under the name Little Happiness soon,” Soraya says
For beverages, Soraya offers espresso, cappuccino, latte, iced sherbet milk, hot and iced chocolate, fruit tea and juices. The prices range from Bt15 to Bt49.
Happy Plus is located at 264/5 Muang district Chiang Rai in front of Mae Fah Luang University. It’s open daily from 10.30am to 9.30pm. Call (081) 764 6768.