pardon the drips while we do some updates


Q What is so special about The Penny Ice?
A The Penny Ice Creamery is at the forefront of third wave ice cream. We combine traditional culinary methods with modern and whimsical flavors to devise truly unique ice cream creations. We take great care in sourcing each ingredient that goes into our ice cream, and as far as we know we’re the only ice cream shop in Northern California making all our ice cream completely from scratch.

Q What do you mean “the only ice cream shop in Northern California making all our ice cream completely from scratch”?
A We are licensed pasteurizers with a facility inspected and approved by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. This means we’re not forced to buy a pre-mixed ice cream base, but instead we’re free craft each recipe to yield the ultimate flavor profile. This also means we can select each ingredient that goes into our ice cream individually, and we can make sure that no artificial flavors or preservatives get in.

Q Where does The Penny Ice name come from?
A The way it was told to us, in 1847 Carlo Gatti arrived on streets of London where he became the first person to sell “penny ice,” what we know today as ice cream. His delicious frozen confection was a luxury previously unavailable to the average person. The Penny Ice Creamery follows in Gatti’s tradition of offering luxurious ice cream to everyone who comes through our doors. And like Gatti, who never heard of preservatives or artificial flavors, we use only real, delicious ingredients.

Q I’m a farmer/rancher/grower/forager/artisan and I would like to offer my goods,
what do I do?
A Stop by the shop and ask for Kendra or Zach, we practically live here! If you can’t make it in for some reason then give us a call at (831) 204-2523, fill out our contact form, or send an email to delicious (at) We look forward to hearing from you, but please understand that we are very selective about who we work with.

Q Do you have a product that is [insert culinary style and/or dietary requirement here]?
A We make all of our products in house and they change often so we can’t guarantee that something you saw one week will be available the next. We generally have at least two vegan/dairy free scoop options, a vegan house made popsicle, and a vegan float. Beyond this we recommend that you ask any of our friendly and knowledgeable staff regarding the ingredients of a particular item. We are always trying new recipes and looking for ways to make our treats accessible to a wide range of diets. Send us an email or fill out our Contact Form to make a suggestion. Please understand that we are a small operation with limited resources, and it may not be possible for us to sustainably provide for every diet on a daily basis. If you are interested in having us cater an event with specific dietary requirements, we are happy to work with you to meet your needs.

Q Do you cater? What size events can you handle?
A We are equipped to easily handle large guest lists, and we are happy to work with you and/or your event planner to create an event that is wonderful and flawless.

Q Are all of your ingredients organic?
A We use 100% certified organic dairy, evaporated cane sugar, and eggs in the creation of our ice cream. Almost all of our flavors are organic, however we favor personal relationships with our farmers, foragers, and food artisans over third party certifications. Occasionally we may source from small growers who exceed the requirements for organic, but for whom organic certification is prohibitively expensive. We also create wildcraft flavors from foraged ingredients, for which organic certification is not available. In every case we carefully consider the environmental and social impacts of our sourcing decisions.

Q Why don’t you have banana/coconut/etc flavored ice cream?
A In our commitment to sustainable local sourcing, we have made the decision not to make ice cream flavors that use ingredients for which we cannot directly observe the environmental and social impacts. Consequently you will not see flavors such as banana and coconut. We do make a couple exceptions, but in the case of coffee for example, locally roasted by Verve, we have meet with their buyer who travels to the points of origin and he has personally assured us that their sourcing criteria meet our requirements.

Q I noticed you say “local” a lot in your marketing, what does being local mean to The
Penny Ice?
A It means that our ingredients come from Northern California, and whenever possible from the Santa Cruz area. We’re locally owned and operated, and we work with local providers for our service needs. Read more about our local commitment.

Q Are you green?
A We have many years of commitment to sustainable business practices, and we put that into action every day at The Penny Ice. We encourage zero waste by recommending a tasty cone (edible packaging!), but for those wanting a dish we offer biocompostable containers. These containers, along with our nutrient rich eggshells and other organic material, are a valuable resource for local growers, and we divert everything we can to them. We make every effort to purchase from purveyors using reusable packaging, and we buy in bulk to cut down on waste. We recycle everything we can. In the first half of 2010 we completed a major remodel of our building following LEED best practices, and we continue to pursue resource saving and renewable energy sources.