2 ice cream shops replace Ici Ice Cream’s former locations

A person handing out a spoonful of ice cream
Jessica Schwabach/Staff

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Two months after Ici Ice Cream closed down both of its locations in Berkeley, two ice cream shops — Humphry Slocombe and Milkbomb Ice Cream — announced that they will be taking over its old locations.

Known for its fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Ici Ice Cream announced the closing of both of its locations Nov. 29.

“I honestly was really heartbroken when Ici closed. For as long as I’ve been here, it’s been one of those establishments that made Berkeley, Berkeley for me,” said UC Berkeley alumna Alexandra Tai. “I felt like we could’ve been at least given a warning. Like one month’s notice — we’re gonna close, come get ice cream here before we’re closed forever.”

On Tuesday, Humphry Slocombe released a press release announcing its opening on 2948 College Ave. — Ici Ice Cream’s old location — this spring. According to the press release, Humphry Slocombe opened its first store in the Mission district of San Francisco more than 10 years ago, making the new Berkeley location its fifth location overall.

“After 10 years in San Francisco and two in Oakland, it’s super exciting to finally have a presence in Berkeley!” said Jake Godby, co-founder and chef of Humphry Slocombe, in a press release. “We’re beyond humbled to have the opportunity to have this space in particular and promise to do our best to live up the legacy that comes along with it.”

Humphry Slocombe is also well-known for its unusual flavors, such as salt and pepper and peanut butter curry.

In addition to Humphry Slocombe’s new location, Milkbomb Ice Cream, currently situated on 17th Street in San Francisco, will take over the second Ici location on 2079 University Ave. in Downtown Berkeley. Co-founder Jan-Michael Manuel says he looks forward to the new location in Berkeley, where there is more foot and car traffic. He also plans to create digital foot traffic through social media and online advertisements.

According to Manuel, the shop’s flavors include black sesame, jasmine tea, ube and creamy horchata, some of which are inspired by the co-founders’ native countries. Milkbomb Ice Cream is also well-known for its ice cream donut sandwiches, which are made from a variety of donut types, such as glazed and cinnamon crumble.

Milkbomb has not yet announced an opening date, but Manuel says that he aims to open the shop in late April or early May.

While some Berkeley residents lament the closing of Ici Ice Cream, they look forward to the new openings.

“Honestly I was pretty devastated when I heard Ici’s was closing,” said UC Berkeley student Zoe Lung. “I haven’t been able to find an ice cream place with comparable quality and choice of flavors so I have high hopes for the new ice cream shop. It definitely has huge shoes to fill.”

Contact Jenny Weng at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jennyweng1999.