Saturday, September 16, 2006

dr bob's ice cream

On Wednesday a new Whole Foods store opened in my neighborhood, and tonight I took a walk down to check it out. The 55,000 sq ft grocery is much as I expected: gorgeous produce, extremely fresh seafood (including whole king salmon), phenomenal meat case and a very nice cheese counter. But, there were some surprises too.

The large vitamin section is joined by organic cosmetics and sustainably-made clothing and baby products. And, the prepared food section features not only the salad bar, rotisserie, sushi station, deli cases and bakery found at other high-end grocery stores but it also includes an olive bar, a tandoori oven, udon, Korean BBQ, 3 separate soup depots, a crepe section, a burrito station, gelato and warm desserts.

The folks at Whole Foods have clearly done their market research and designed a destination for folks who have much more money than time. Even the piped in music is suited to the demographic: upbeat 1980s tunes from folks like David Bowie, the Alarm, the Police, Modern English and the Simple Minds.

In the center of the store are row after row of very high-end frozen food for both man and dog. I was drawn to frozen dairy section and was confronted with many brands of ice cream that were unfamiliar to me. I wanted to try them all but settled on Dr. Bob’s ice cream out of Pomona.

Dr. Bob is a Cal Poly professor who has a passion for ice cream. For the past seven years he has operated a small ice cream factory and developed a cult following in So Cal. He uses ultra-premium ingredients and doesn’t shy away from fat, but he focuses on basic flavors instead of the exotic. I selected Scharffen Berger Chocolate Chip and found the ice cream to be smooth, fresh, almost wholesome in flavor despite its decadence. I can’t wait to try the other flavors.

Bonus list: some other purchases you may want to make when you visit
* Organic heirloom tomatoes $2.99 a pound
* Parmigiano-Reggiano $11.99 a pound
* Wood-fired oven pizza by the slice $1.99 ea
* Groth Sauvignon Blanc $12.99
* Crab and Corn Chowder $8.49 large container