Megan Mugumya and her mother, Bonnie Brown, have long entertained themselves coming up with fun ideas for businesses, typically accompanied by a reason it wouldn’t work.
Sooner or later, Mugumya jokes, they would see someone succeed at their idea.
So when Mugumya sampled an unusual new dessert while visiting her sister in California, she knew she had to bring it home to Richland.
The treat is called Dragon’s Breath, purportedly a Korean delicacy but invented by a Los Angeles cafe.
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It consists of a ball of a sweetened cereal-like mixture dipped in super-cold liquid nitrogen. The porous “cracker” absorbs the nitrogen, then releases as smoke when it’s eaten, giving the consumer the appearance of smokey dragon’s breath.
Mugumya was struck by how many people asked her what she was eating during that fateful California visit.
“I thought, I should do this before anybody else in the Tri-Cities,” she said.
I thought, I should do this before anybody else in the Tri-Cities.
Megan Mugumya, Dragon’s Breath
She learned how to make Dragons Breath and on June 1, introduced it to the Tri-Cities.
Their company, N2 Tri-Cities, includes a tent. It is a regular at Richland’s weekly Live @ 5 summer celebration every Thursday at John Dam Plaza and will be on hand for the annual See3Slam Tournament, the July 8-9 three-on-three basketball tournament in Richland.
While she’s looking for other events to join, Mugumya is still toying with the business’ future.
The dessert itself is full of drama but somewhat bland without a dipping sauce. N2 serves its version with sweet cream and caramel. It also makes a Rice Krispies treat version that Mugumya said tastes better but isn’t as dramatic as the original.
She thinks Dragon’s Breath may have a two-year run at best and likens it to the novelty ice cream treat Dippin’ Dots.
Still, she’s long dreamed of venturing into the food cart business and could turn the tent business into a mobile one.
A Richland High School graduate, Mugumya left the Tri-Cities to travel after she graduated. She returned five years ago to be closer to her family when she had a child.
She works at Kadlec Regional Medical Center, sitting with patients who can’t be left alone. And she’s one year away from completing her bachelor’s degree in project management at Columbia Basin College. Brown is a long-time Tri-City resident who is retired from the U.S. Postal Service.
While Dragon’s Breath may have a relatively short lifespan, Mugumya said she’s gaining valuable experience starting and managing a small business and making lots of contacts along the way.
“I’m an aspiring entrepreneur,” she said.
N2 sells the original Dragon’s Breath for $5.25 for a 16 ounce cup. The Rice Krispies version is $3.75.
Have a food or dining story to share? Let me know!