The Scoop: Going out for ice cream may seem like an ordinary thing for couples to do on a date, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be surprising. Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream, which has two locations in San Diego, offers something for every taste with more than 300 delicious flavors. Couples can enjoy their favorite flavors by ordering a unique ice cream flight, which is perfect for sharing. For helping couples liven up the traditional ice cream date, Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream has earned our Editors’ Choice Award.
Many couples love heading out for ice cream on a special date night. It’s a perfect way to enjoy a sweet treat while getting to know more about someone in a relaxed setting. And couples know their conversation won’t be competing with the loud music of a nightclub or the overwhelming chatter at a bar.
Some people choose to have ice cream nights at home, but the experience doesn’t spark the same nostalgia like a trip to an ice cream parlor does. Plus, grocery stores don’t always have a wide variety of interesting flavors. Instead, many simply stock the most popular options.
Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream stands out as a great date location thanks to its island vibe and Hawaiian-style ice cream treats for every taste. It has two locations in San Diego, California, and its stores are designed in a laid-back tropical style.
“This is a time to enjoy yourself, relax, take it easy, and have a great ice cream,” said AJ Williams, Owner of Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream.
The Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream team sees couples of all ages visit its stores to taste its unique offerings and serving styles. Customers can order a single cone or bowl, and couples often sample a few of the shop’s more than 300 flavors with a fun and romantic ice cream flight.
Home of the Ice Cream Flight
Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream was started in 2004 by a couple with a passion for the islands — and ice cream. They combined those two interests to create Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream.
Couples who come to Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream can order an ice cream flight, much like ordering from a craft brewery. The flight is served in a special holder that delivers six flavors in mini-cones so couples can experience them together.
“When people go on a date, they want to try different things,” AJ said. “Couples can get a flight and mix and match flavors. It really draws in family members to share something in a communal way. First dates are drawn to that.”
The flights can turn a standard ice cream date into something more memorable because couples are encouraged to order flavors they’ve never tried before. They can enjoy the adventure together, which allows them to connect in a fun way.
Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream usually sells flights of six flavors, but groups can order a 32-flavor version in a special holder that’s perfect for celebrating birthdays or relationship milestones. When groups order the party flight, a Hammond’s team member will take a picture and post it on social media.
More Than 300 Flavors Cater to Unique Tastes
Some couples may think ice cream only comes in a handful of flavors — especially if they are used to picking it up at the grocery store. Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream menu has so many options and flavor combinations that couples can sample a new flavor every day for nearly a year before trying them all.
The shop has more than 300 flavors of super-premium Hawaiian ice cream and sorbets.
“We offer fun, off-the-beaten-path ice cream that is unique and diverse in the amount of flavors,” AJ said. “You’ll see flavors like pineapple, coconut, and chocolate-coconut macadamia nut. And you’ll see tropical flavors like ube, black sesame, and other stuff that is interesting to couples.”
Those are just a small sample of the flavors. With a flight, couples on dates can try classic flavors, including chocolate fudge brownie, Tahitian vanilla, Thai tea, or Poha berry. If they don’t know what a flavor tastes like, the flight is a great way to find out.
Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream makes its varieties with 18% butterfat, which gives the ice cream a filling and luxurious flavor.
“With our ice cream, a little goes a long way because of the butterfat and the way it’s slow-churned and processed,” he said. “We want to focus on a unique way of delivering the ice cream and great flavors, but when you taste the ice cream, you know it’s high quality.”
Soon, the team plans to expand the menu even further. The shops also offer sorbets and vegan ice cream but will introduce shakes, ice cream sandwiches, smoothies, and drinks made with coffee and other interesting flavors.
Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream currently has two locations for couples to visit on a date in San Diego. The first is in North Park, and the second is in Point Loma.
Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream: A Delicious and Fun Date
AJ said even the people who work at Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream have a lot of fun. Most of its employees are in high school or college, and they receive mentorships and life skills training as part of their work experience.
Customer service is important in the ice cream business because no one wants to order from an unhappy scooper.
“We are in a business where people come into the ice cream shop to forget any troubles from the outside world,” AJ said. “You want to escape, like a vacation, or you want to celebrate and highlight things that are going great like birthdays and anniversaries.”
Of course, the most popular reason to come is for a date. AJ said the team often sees couples leaning close to each other while sharing an ice cream flight. Because the business also offers catering, it often gets large orders for weddings, too.
“We do a lot of weddings based on couples who had their first date here,” he said. “It’s a full cycle. We are at the start of the relationship, and then we can be at the start of their life together.”
Sometimes Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream will host a couple on a date, cater their wedding, and see them come in later with children. AJ said it’s rewarding to see how families can grow together while continuing to enjoy something fun like ice cream.