Ici Ice Cream, Berkeley’s artisanal ice cream shop run by Chez Panisse alum Mary Canales, is finally expanding its reach from the confines of Elmwood. A second shop will open on 2079 University Avenue at Shattuck, likely by the end of the month.
The ice cream shop is known for its handmade flavors that are heavily inspired by culinary components, like rosemary pinenut praline, Earl Grey tea, and cardamom rose. Owner Mary Canales spent nine years as pastry chef at Chez Panisse before opening her shop in 2006, an influence apparent in her simple, but creative flavors.
At her new location, Canales says there will be a few new treats, including milkshakes. Canales’ popular ice cream cakes — including pumpkin ice cream and ice cream buche de noel for the holidays — will also be available. For now, all ice cream will continue to be made at the commercial kitchen on College Avenue, given the petite footprint of Ici number two. The less-than-500-square-foot store is adjacent to Tender Greens in downtown Berkeley’s growing restaurant scene, and across the street from Blue Bottle and Ippudo. Canales says the growing energy of the downtown scene (and increased foot traffic) contributed to her expansion.
“It has been on our minds ever since we opened,” says Canalaes. “We’ve been hounded to open all over the place, including internationally, but the way we make our ice cream is so handmade that it’d be hard to scale it.” But with the new space, everything aligned, she told Eater SF. “It’s the start of the thought process that we can do more, and we’re open to that down the road.” So, stay tuned for more ice cream from Ici in the Bay Area, at least.