Dark Horse Coffee Roasters launched their first ice cream shop last week on October 6. Mutual Friend Ice Cream is located in the Golden Hill area of San Diego and employs some of Point Loma’s recent alumni. Class of 2018 alumni Michael Lombrano, Max Hammons and Connor Berk started working in August in preparation for the grand opening. Lombrano said, “I was looking for a second job and it’s ice cream, so it would be fun serving people some sweet treats and making their day (hopefully) better!”
That spirit of friendliness and service is the mission of the shop. Owner Randy Charlson said, “We want people to feel a sense of belonging when they come through our doors.” Employees greet customers with a smile, encourage them to try whichever and however many flavors they would like and, as Charlson puts it, help them choose the perfect flavor. Charlson co-owns the shop with his older brothers Bryan and Daniel and chose to expand into the ice cream industry since they “believe that ice cream can bring the community together because it is such an easy joy.”
The shop is located directly adjacent to the Golden Hill location of Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, so customers can have a cup and a cone in one place. The owners felt confident trying something new because of their strong customer community at Dark Horse. Charlson said, “They are the most supportive people we know and we feel so lucky to have built this extremely loyal and generous fan base.”
Future plans include more Mutual Friend shops, potentially combined with coffee shops or free standing. The shop offers 11–13 fresh flavors at a time, made in-house from organic produce and with ingredients from local partners. Customers can also select from the freezer stocked with a variety of take-home pints. Flavors will rotate seasonally and new flavors will be introduced every few weeks. The menu will always offer a couple sorbets for dairy-free and vegan customers.
Lombrano is lactose-intolerant and said, “My favorite is our dark chocolate sorbet because it doesn’t have the normal sorbet texture. It is closer to ice cream than it is to sorbet; our head ice cream [maker] is a wizard and she figured all that out.”
Each flavor is carefully and creatively crafted for the customers. “We want people to know that we take great care and focus in creating our flavors so that when they eat them, they can taste the richness and elegance of what we made for them,” Charlson said.
The shop is open 12p.m.–9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Sunday. Students interested in working at Mutual Friend should email their resume and availability to firstname.lastname@example.org.