Beachy Cream, Santa Monica, Calif., inspired by the California surfing days of old, has created many unique flavors around that very theme. Ann Ryan, founder and CEO, said she went with the company’s vintage look (with a modern twist) because she was inspired by memories from her childhood spent in Malibu, Calif., and Cape Cod, Mass. The result is a surf-inspired pin-up girl branding.

Some of the popular flavor combinations on the menu are Key Lime Cowabunga (key lime ice cream on coconut oatmeal cookies) and Ginger Wipeout (candied ginger ice cream on molasses spice cookies, a recipe from Ryan’s own grandmother).

Ryan said her goal when creating the company was to make ice cream that was healthy, using locally sourced and organic ingredients.

In 2009 she began selling her handmade ice cream sandwiches from a cart at local farmers’ markets. Then the requests started coming in to cater celebrity parties and other high-profile events in the Los Angeles area. Thanks to word-of-mouth, her company took off from there. Beachy Cream opened a full-service ice cream shop in Santa Monica in 2012, and a “store within a store” at Vintage Grocers in Malibu in 2014. As it says on the company website, its brand and Santa Monica store are reminiscent of the classic ice cream parlors of the past

Where does the flavor inspiration from?

“Sometimes when I’m traveling, or even visiting an art museum I’ll be hit with a creative inspiration,” she said. “I’ve always tried to make things that I like and that I thought were missing from what’s currently offered.”

Two of the company’s top-selling flavors and items are Strawberry Surfer Girl ice cream sandwiches (strawberry balsamic ice cream on sugar cookies) and fresh mint brownie chunk ice cream sold in pints. The company bakes its own brownies.

“Recently, Whole Foods challenged us to come up with two new exclusive flavors that no one else was doing,” Ryan said. “We made vegan rum raisin and miso cherry chocolate chunk. There’s a growing interest in vegan products so I thought, why not do a spin on a familiar favorite? That’s how the vegan rum raisin came about.”

Today, the company sells its gourmet ice cream sandwiches and pints in 50 stores (and counting), including Whole Foods. Beachy Cream can be seen at local Southern California parties and events with its mobile ice cream cart and Beachy Cream Girls (women in retro-inspired attire, carrying frozen treats from “cigarette” trays). The company will be opening a 13,000-square-foot factory in March in Long Beach, Calif., to help accommodate increasing demand. Ryan said her goal is to distribute nationally within the next 12 months.  

Read our original report on artisan ice cream here — "Putting the art back in ice cream."