Popular Santa Cruz ice cream shop expanding to Bay Area


In Santa Cruz, The Penny Ice Creamery draws lines out the door for its unique seasonal flavors like strawberry pink peppercorn and Meyer lemon poppyseed. Now, it’s expanding to the Bay Area, as first reported by Eater

The Penny Ice Creamery already has two Santa Cruz shops, as well as locations in Aptos and Scotts Valley, but is now opening two new shops, in Palo Alto and Los Altos. 

“We’re excited to be having a presence on the other side of the hills for the first time,” co-owner Zachary Davis told SFGATE. “We get a lot of people coming from the greater Bay Area to Santa Cruz to visit asking, ‘When are we not going to have to drive so far?’”

The Palo Alto ice cream shop will be at 855 El Camino Real at the Town & Country Village shopping center, while the Los Altos location will be at 170 State St. at food hall State Street Market. The Los Altos food hall temporarily closed earlier this year but recently relaunched with a few new tenants. 

While exact opening dates are still up in the air, Davis said they expect both ice cream shops to open this month. 

Davis’ business partner at The Penny Ice Creamery is Kendra Baker, the former executive pastry chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Manresa. Baker is behind the ice cream shop’s creative seasonal flavors, as well as its totally from-scratch ethos: The Penny is one of the only Bay Area ice cream shops that make their own ice cream base; it even pasteurizes its own dairy. 

“That’s what sets us apart,” Davis said. “When we say we make our ice cream from scratch, we really mean we make it 100% from scratch.”

If Palo Alto and Los Altos are still a bit of a drive, Davis said San Francisco isn’t off the table for further expansion.

“San Francisco has a tremendous amount of delicious ice cream already,” he said. “But if it made sense, if it seems there was a spot that was a good fit for us and we felt like we could bring something different, we would absolutely do that.”

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