Welcome to Ici (ee see), a one of a kind ice cream shop where all of our treats are handmade here in the store. All of our ice creams, sorbets, candies and cookies are made in small batches, using fresh, local, and top quality ingredients. All of our dairy, including milk, butter, cream, and eggs are certified organic. Most of our fruits, nuts and chocolate exceed organic standards. No artificial preservatives are ever used, as we make only what will be consumed in a couple of days to ensure maximum freshness and deliciousness.
Working from scratch, using choice ingredients, we are able to craft pure and delectable desserts, while rejoicing in the simple beauty of handmade gifts. Ici is here to create special sweets for everyday as well as singular celebrations. In a fast paced world we are a place to stop for treats that are created lovingly and passionately by people, not machines: the original meaning of artisan.
After many years working in professional kitchens including a 9 year tenure as pastry chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Mary opened Ici in September 2006. Inspired by her passion for ice cream, Mary set out to create a place of her own where fresh, natural and beautiful things were made and shared with a sensitive and appreciative community of fellow dessert enthusiasts. Ice cream is not only her favorite food, it affords her endless opportunities to express her creativity. While the fine dining plated desserts she created at Chez Panisse were challenging and delicious, ice cream provided a new venue within which she could take flights of fancy with flavors and textures within a relatively tightly focused context. Of course, to achieve this Mary uses only the finest ingredients. She sources them from local farms and producers that employ organic and/or sustainable practices. In addition, Mary wanted to build a supportive work environment in which employees could thrive as collaborators, expressing their own creativity and deepening their passions. All of this takes form at Ici where you will find Mary in back dreaming of all things sweet. Mary lives in Oakland with her husband, Paul, and their two wonderful daughters.
An ardor for working with her hands steers Mattea in a search for creative outlets and endeavors in life. From painting and pottery, to quilting and crochet she finds pleasure in craft. She is ever dedicated to the concept that when one’s profession coincides with one’s inner drives and joys, great things shall ensue. An appreciation for the fine art of fresh, quality food preparation inspired her to seek occupation in a kitchen where she could express her taste artistically. Working and collaborating with the team at Ici has been the most rewarding experience in her life to date.