If you have been in coastal Encinitas or Carlsbad or at several of our local farmers markets, there is a good chance you have seen the very cool Leucadia Liscious e-bikes around.
Next time flag them down as they offer some very tasty sorbet and now gelato and it makes for a delicious summer treat. I caught up with co-founder Serena Milne recently to learn more.
You are originally from the U.K., what brought you to the U.S. and Leucadia?
We came here just over four years ago due to my husband’s job requirements. We wanted to live in one of the beach communities and were lucky enough to find a house and settle in Leucadia. We love the sense of community and the creative, independent and local vibe of Leucadia. It is inspiring.
Did you have favorite sweets growing up there, was sorbet a part of that mix?
At the seaside we would always have ice creams — rain or shine! There would be a local ice cream truck or bike by the beach and it was very much part of the summer in the U.K. or on summer vacations in Europe. However my eldest son has a number of food allergies so there were never a lot of options for him.
How did Leucadia Liscious happen?
Well, we were at our local beach, Beacons, on a regular family outing with some friends. It was a hot summer’s day and we were talking about wanting to get some refreshing frozen treats for the family. We were discussing how we wished there was an option closer to the beach like we have in the U.K. or in Europe and wanting to be able to buy something that we would feel good about giving our kids. Something made from all natural ingredients, something wholesome. I love to cook and we regularly make our own ice cream and sorbet at home — it just came to us there and then that “we” should do it. Our friends, and now business partners Stine Bergholtz and James Gilmore have a similar passion for food and we got together with them to create Leucadia Liscious.
Tell me about the process of making sorbet.
With the right equipment and high quality fresh ingredients it is actually quite simple. The secret ingredient is really the outstanding organic fruit from local farms including Stehly Farms and Sweet Tree Farms. We are incredibly lucky to live in an area where we can source locally. Our product is handmade in small batches and we hand press all of our fruit. Stine, who was previously a microbiologist, is meticulous about the recipes and we have to measure the natural sugar content of the fruit to work out the appropriate additional ingredients for the required freezing point. There is definitely some science as well as creative flare behind making the sorbet!
And how does it differ from ice cream or gelato?
When you taste Leucadia Liscious, you absolutely can’t tell the difference from a high quality ice cream or gelato. It is equally creamy, smooth, flavorful and deliciously tasty. Our sorbet is also refreshing and you get all the benefits of eating organic fruit as the main ingredient. Traditionally, ice cream and gelato are dairy based desserts, however sorbet is a fruit and water based dessert. Our sorbet and gelato is dairy free (it is also egg, nut and gluten free). We do in fact make a gelato, our Choc & Roll, which we have just introduced. It is a coconut-based gelato and is rich, creamy and delicious.
You have quite a variety of delicious flavors, how do you select which ones to go with?
There are some flavors, which we know people love, these are our all season flavors such as Lemon and Chocolate and Strawberry, which has a very long season. After that we really work with what is in season. It is very exciting at the moment, as all the summer fruits are coming into season giving us a huge variety including peach, grapefruit and various berries. We also like to explore and mix it up a bit. Mixing fruit flavors, infusing herbs and spices and playing with sweet and savory flavors.
I first saw you at the Leucadia Farmers Market but you are popping up all over the place now. Where else can folks find you?
You are right! Check out our Facebook and follow us on Instagram to find out where we are at and our current partners. We go to the Leucadia, Solana Beach, Encinitas and Vista Farmer’s Markets and various local restaurants carry our product. We also do home deliveries and events from small backyard parties and sports events to large celebrations where people can hire a bike, a server and customize our lids such as weddings, graduations, corporate events. Our Leucadia Liscious riders bike along the beach routes on our e-bikes and will also be at Summer Fun on the 101 June 26 and June 27.
You have three kids in Encinitas schools, are they involved in the business?
Yes they are. In fact our eldest son drew our original business plan and he gets involved in the artwork for our menu boards. Our middle one is our biggest advocate; she is very social and spreads the word to her friends. Our little one very much enjoys the product and they all love to get involved in taste testing! We offer nonprofits, schools and charitable organizations 10 percent back on sales as a donation for any events in which we participate.
For more information on Leucadia Liscious contact Serena [email protected]
Lick the Plate can now be heard on KPRi, 102.1 FM Monday – Friday during at 4:10 and 7:10 p.m. David Boylan is founder of Artichoke Creative and Artichoke Apparel, an Encinitas based marketing firm and clothing line. Reach him at [email protected] or (858) 395-6905.