Penny Ice Creamery gives Santa Cruz its first taste of locally made from-scratch ice cream after much anticipation.
The Penny Ice Creamery brings the popular concept of seasonal to ice creams and sorbets in downtown Santa Cruz.
One of the two things that make this store unique is garnering Santa Cruz’s only pasteurization license, of which there are few in the entire Bay Area. Rather than using a pre-made base mix, Penny Ice can start with eggs and cream, giving them total control over the ingredients and final product. The second jewel in Penny’s crown is co-owner Chef Kendra L. Baker.
Baker once worked at Gabriella Café, which coincidentally is across the street from her new ice cream shop. In 2007 she was selected Best Pastry Chef by SF Magazine, and also was the Executive Pastry Chef at the renowned Manresa in Los Gatos. Baker is joined by business partner Zach Davis in this endeavor, which included an extensive remodel of the historic building.
The company’s core values are dedicated to sustainably grown and humanely farmed ingredients. The dairy, cane sugar, and eggs are 100 percent certified organic. Since ingredients are sourced locally, the flavors are truly seasonal, so customers will always be discovering something new.
Recently, a Facebook message declared that the new Anise flavor was “better than licorice.” Standing in line at the small store, I could see into the kitchen on the left, where Baker and her staff were hard at work. In the serving case were nine flavors of frozen treats including Earl of Grey and Brown Butter Spiced Pecan ice creams, sorbets of nectarine and chocolate, plus ice cream sandwiches ($4) and bonbons ($3); so good that a toddler’s first taste replaced his wails with absolute giggles.
My two scoops ($4.50) included creamy, vanilla-colored anise, not too sweet, with a smooth licorice-like taste but without the bitter undertones. Unusual blackberry-corn flavor was made by steeping fresh corn in the ice cream mixture, straining it out, and folding in blackberries, which streaked the white base with fresh berry-red deliciousness.
Penny Ice Creamery, 913 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz, 204-2523. Open at noon Tuesday through Sunday, until 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, and until 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Closed Mondays. Visit thepennyicecreamery.com.
Tickets are now available for the 7th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green at Aptos Village Park, where you can sample specialties of more than 40 local chefs, wineries and breweries.
The event is spearheaded by the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group which in its 15 years of existence has raised more than one million dollars to help fund local cancer nonprofits and research.
One such beneficiary is Jacob’s Heart which aims to improve the quality of life for children living with cancer. They believe that the needs of children can best be met by caring for the entire family.
Another is WomenCARE, which provides cancer advocacy, resources and education for women with cancer. Through workshops and support groups a network of women help each other through the fear and pain of cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Gourmet Grazing on the Green Food and Wine Festival unfolds from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 25 at Aptos Village Park. $65 per person or $500 for a group of 10. Parking and shuttle available from Cabrillo College. Tickets available at New Leaf Markets or online at sccbg.org.