Eva Ein and Michael Palmer bought Santa Barbara ice cream company McConnell's in 2012 and have since carried on its tradition of crafting made-from-scratch ice cream.
Take chef Ein's Sweet Cream for example; it's made from raw milk and cream, cage-free organic eggs and cane sugar. The short list of ingredients leaves no hiding room for flaws. The milk and cream come from Central Coast grass-fed cows, pasteurized in-house at the Old Dairy in Santa Barbara. All of the caramels, jams and other ingredients for their flavors, such as Eureka Lemon with Marionberries, are also made in-house. And while other companies rely on batch freezers, McConnell's uses the hybrid French press pot process originally created by Gordon McConnell in 1948.
Ein and Palmer opened up a flagship scoop shop on State Street, and for more than a year have been searching for the best way to bring McConnell's to Los Angeles. With the growing food scene in downtown Los Angeles, they set their sights on Grand Central Market. (G&B Coffee had already been making frosty espresso milkshakes with McConnell's Sweet Cream.) In early July, a McConnell's scoop shop serving a rotating roster of 16 classic and seasonal flavors will open in the middle of the market near Wexler's Deli and Sticky Rice.
"The connection [Grand Central Market] has to L.A.'s food history and culture is unique. It's a wonderful opportunity for all of us at McConnell's to share what we've been doing up here on the Central Coast for a long time, partnering with local ranches and farms, having access to amazing ingredients," Ein explained during a break from making Oaxacan Chocolate ice cream. "To be able to share our ice creams like this, in this venue and within L.A.'s rapidly evolving food scene, is incredibly exciting."
When asked why they chose Grand Central Market, Palmer said, "This brand goes back almost 70 years in California in Santa Barbara. My family goes back 150 years in California. Growing up in Los Angeles, Grand Central Market was a place we would always go. It has a certain feel that is rooted in the history of L.A. And now that [owner] Adele Yellin and her team are adding new vendors, it is one of the most interesting places for food in Los Angeles. We felt this was a great way to bring this heritage brand to L.A."
Then Palmer added, "It's a vibrant food scene. It seems like such a perfect fit."