Never-Ending Summer

From ‘Banana Storm’ to ‘Lavender Cream,’ this alumna knows what ice cream flavors we like best

Labor Day may signal the typical end of summer, but don’t tell that to Trang Hammond, ’04, proud co-owner of Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream. With one location in North Park and another opening soon in Pacific Beach, Hammond brings “super-premium” ice cream and sorbet to San Diego year round. And with over 100 flavors, visitors can get more than a little overwhelmed—just try one of their famous “flights,” you’ll be more than satisfied.

Hawaii made and San Diego dished, Hammond’s ice cream is yet more proof of that entrepreneurial spirit cultivated at UC San Diego. Here, Hammond gives the “scoop” on her path to owning her business, building the environmentally friendly shop and exactly which flavors top the charts this endless summer.

Fun fact: the Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream logo represents a sun emerging from behind the clouds, symbolizing opening their first shop and, this fall, their second.

What makes Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream so great?

Our ice cream is handmade in small batches on a farm factory in the Big Island. The dairy used is from the grass-fed cows grazing the farm. All of the honey, fruits, coffees and nuts are from the local farmers on the island. It is super premium ice cream, containing 18 percent butterfat with very low overrun—little air in the mixing process—resulting in dense, delicious, creamy-textured ice cream.

After graduating from UC San Diego, did you think you’d open an ice cream shop?

Definitely not. I was pre-med and prepping to go to medical school. I wanted to have some work experience and just enjoy life a little before jumping straight into medical school, but life takes you places you never expected. After graduating from UCSD, I worked in the UCSD Health System for a while and the management experience from my last jobs prepared me really well on running a business. We now have over 20 staff members and a new location in the works.

With summer winding down… sort of… what were the best flavors during this hot season? Any new ones for fall?

The favorites this past summer were Banana Storm (banana cream, strawberry jam and Oreo cookies), Honey Lavender, Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Nut—this is a favorite no matter what season—Toasted Coconut, Lychee Cream and Lime Cream.

For fall we have some fun flavors like Kona Coffee with Pecan Pralines, Pumpkin Cheesecake and Apple Caramel Pie. This winter we’ll bring in even more variety.

Give us an odd, lesser-known flavor that is surprisingly delicious.

Ginger Cream might sound weird, but it’s delicious. It is made with real ginger so you can see the ginger fibers in it, and it is rich and creamy.

Any Triton-themed ice cream you could think of?

Well, as you know we are famous for our flights. We scoop ice cream on individual mini cones so you can have a few flavors without having to jam it together on one cone or in one cup. So we would do a yellow-and-blue theme. I would do a Lemon Cream and Pineapple Coconut Cream on the outside, with Blueberry Freckle in the middle.

You say in the video that your husband’s favorite is the Chocolate Peanut Butter Oreo. What’s your go-to flavor?

I really like Tahitian Vanilla with Honey Macadamia Nuts. It’s not one of our permanent flavors—we rotate it in—so I am ecstatic when we offer it.

Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream
3077 University Ave., San Diego