McConnell's Fine Ice Creams Set to Open This Summer

Ventura Place in Studio City is officially turning into a viable culinary block, starting with the Sunday farmers market, Tuning Fork, Joan’s on Third—and coming this summer, the sweet feather in its cap, the iconic McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams. Valley-ites will get a taste of this very special ice cream when it establishes permanent residency on the block, replacing the […]

Ventura Place in Studio City is officially turning into a viable culinary block, starting with the Sunday farmers market, Tuning Fork, Joan’s on Third—and coming this summer, the sweet feather in its cap, the iconic McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams. Valley-ites will get a taste of this very special ice cream when it establishes permanent residency on the block, replacing the long-standing International Custom Tailors (which has now moved to Encino).

As a fixture in Santa Barbara for nearly 70 years, it is the first truly artisan ice cream—and that was decades before the term "artisan" became vogue. The ice cream is handcrafted in their own dairy with all locally sourced, organic, sustainable ingredients (yes, before that phrase-ology became the catchall as well!).  

The company's cache was upped even more three years ago when it was purchased by husband/wife team Michael Palmer and Eva Ein, and since then it has expanded to specialty supermarket shelves and its first satellite location at the Grand Central Market in DTLA. They are the third family to own the company, maintaining it as a small, unique, "heritage" brand rather than as a sellout to a large ice cream manufacturer.

“While we make our home in Santa Barbara, many of us at McConnell’s are proud, native Angelenos. Studio City, in particular, holds a special place in my heart, as I practically grew up there and attended both grammar school and high school close by at The Oakwood School,” says Michael, whose business background is winemaking. “As we looked around for the right location for our next store, we considered many locations. Ultimately, we fell in love with Ventura Place. It’s got great traffic but also a more intimate, 'neighborhoody' feel as well.”

Michael's wife, Eva Ein, is a renowned chef and restaurateur and makes all the ice cream flavors and mix-in ingredients (such as chocolate chips, jams, preserves, caramel, etc.) in-house. Look for classic and seasonal flavors such as Davy Brown Ale and butter brickle, chocolate covered strawberries, churros con leche, olive oil and salted roasted almonds, Eureka lemon and marionberries, milk chocolate and raspberry jam, Golden State vanilla and Oaxacan chocolate. According to Michael, there will also be house-made baked goods and unique surprises just for Studio City.

Personally, I first fell in love with McConnell's more than 30 years ago; it still remains a big crush I must visit when in Santa Barbara. Now it's in our backyard. Can't wait.

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