Molly Moon Neitzel uses mostly local fruit to flavor her ice creams—the farthest south she goes for fruit is Napa Valley for blood oranges. And it's not just the customers who are happy here: Employees get free health care, paid leave and living wages.
Owner and former Peace Corps volunteer Neal Gottlieb puts a big emphasis on sustainability: The ingredients for his ice cream are local; all bowls, spoons and napkins are compostable; and the shop's emissions are offset with renewable energy certificates.
“The ice cream has great flavor and mouthfeel, and a large flavor selection that changes with the season. It always reminds me of childhood trips to the ice cream shop,” says 2012 F&W Best New Pastry Chef Devin McDavid, of San Francisco’s Quince restaurant.
Among the local ingredients used at this Pearl District shop: Oregon bing cherries for its Bing Cherry Almond Chip and hazelnut butter and toasted hazelnuts from orchards 20 miles away for its Willamette Valley Hazelnut.
Almost everything at this excellent ice cream shop is made from scratch, including the marshmallows for the Rocky Road. Marin County's Straus Family Creamery, the first certified-organic dairy in the West, supplies all of the milk and cream for Bi-Rite's ice creams.