Some sweet news for Little Italy: Salt & Straw, the Portland-based small-batch ice cream company cult-famous for its innovative flavors and “farm-to-cone” philosophy, will open its first San Diego store in the bustling neighborhood later this year. Its 1,350 square-foot space on India Street was formerly a Yogurtland and is one of the street level spots below Prepkitchen Little Italy.
Founded in 2011 by cousins Kim and Tyler Malek, the company currently has ice cream kitchens and scoop shops located in Portland, Los Angeles and San Francisco, plus a soft serve dessert bar, Wiz Bang Bar, also in Portland. In addition to its San Diego expansion, Salt & Straw is launching an outpost in Seattle later this year.
Known for his creative flavors, ranging from sea salt with caramel ribbons and honey-lavender to roasted strawberry tres leches and freckled woodblock chocolate, co-founder and head ice cream maker Tyler Malek will also conjure up special monthly flavors made from seasonal produce. Past innovations include cultured sourdough ice cream with strawberries and fermented fudge, green apple mayo sherbet and even flavor combos inspired by “rescued ingredients”, aka food waste. The small batches served at the Little Italy shop will be made in Salt & Straw’s Los Angeles kitchen using cream from SoCal’s Scott Brothers Dairy.
In a statement, he shared, "It's a dream come true to have the opportunity to work in the San Diego food community. When you look at the success and innovation of local chefs, breweries, farmers, fishermen, wineries, bakers etc..., it's hard not to get excited about jumping in to build on this creative food scene and develop menus in partnership with these amazing folks."
To celebrate its new location, designed by Andee Hess of Portland’s Osmose Design, Salt & Straw is planning to organize a series of pop ups, announced via the company’s Facebook page, that will take place over the months leading up to the Little Italy store’s opening in Winter 2017.
Michael Burton, Pasquale Ioele, and Alex Drecksel of Flocke and Avoyer/Urban Strategies Group represented the landlord in the transaction while Tricia Delgallego of Epsteen and Associates represented the tenant.