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Meet Shiho Yoshikawa of Sweet Rose Creamery

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shiho Yoshikawa.

Shiho, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I met Zoe Nathan, the owner of the Rustic Canyon Family while we worked together at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. I came down to LA to help her open Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe; then I met her husband, Josh Loeb (also the owner of the restaurant group).

While I was helping, I shared a dream of opening my own bakery/ice cream shop in Hawaii, where my husband is from. Josh asked if I wanted to move to LA and start an ice cream shop, and I said yes! We opened our flagship store at the Brentwood Country Mart in May 2010.

In 2013, we moved our kitchen to a larger facility and opened a small storefront on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, and a Mid-City location along Beverly Boulevard. We also have a shop in the Pacific Palisades and opened a location along Santa Monica’s Main Street this past March.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been multiple challenges along the way. When we first opened, it was fun to be experimental, but challenging to balance customers’ desires. The most challenging part was equipment failures and how to work around them as well as keeping up with production. Then we set our goal to open more stores, so planning the larger facility.

Once we moved and started operating, we had trouble incorporating new equipment into the production chain, so troubleshooting that was challenging. Planning and opening more stores, planning the volume and distribution was also a large undertaking. During all of this, I also had my baby boy, which was also super challenging. To be honest, everything seems like a blur now. I’m not sure how I got through it!

I always had great support from my team and without that, I know we would’ve never gotten through it. Another undertaking came through when we added our wholesale business – updating our food safety practices and packaging. There was tons of research to put a system in place. I could not have done this without our smart and charming former COO, Margot Bloch.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sweet Rose Creamery – what should we know?
We make handcrafted, small-batch, classic and seasonal ice cream from scratch. We carefully select all of our ingredients and pasteurize the ice cream bases on-site. All of our organic milk and cream come from Clover Dairy, organic eggs from Chino Valley Ranchers, organic sugars from Wholesome Sweetners.

Most of our fruit comes from Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. We purchase from farmers who practice sustainable agriculture and pick fruits and vegetable at the height of their season. We carry 18 flavors at all times, ten of which are classics with the rest rotating monthly or bi-monthly.

We also offer housemade toppings and waffle cones, ice cream pies, ice cream cakes, ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, milkshakes, ice cream floats, and seasonal cookies and candies. I think our fun, seasonal flavors, real handcrafted ice cream, and great service set us apart.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Josh & Zoe for giving me a chance and believing in me to run the ice cream shop, along with Rustic Canyon Family Partner Colby Goff for all the financial support and advice.

Our former COO Margot Bloch for working alongside me through our expansion over the past three years. All my kitchen managers and kitchen crews who work with me to make the best ice cream possible, as well as all of our front-of-house managers and team members who always welcome guests with a big smile and give them warm service.

All the farmers and vendors who provide us with the best tasting produce and product to make our ice cream shine. Tartine’s Liz Prueitt and Chad Robertson to let me start my kitchen career. My husband Schuyler and my son Shin for letting me work as hard as I want, and all their support and love.

And of course, my parents for giving me a life and always supporting me to do what I wanted.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Lynda Cutter, Abby Mahler and Emily Hart Roth

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