An “Instagram experience” of yummy treats is promised as LICC gets a major relaunch.
Stephanie ‘Stef’ Blair and her partner Kelly Blair have taken over the Luxury Ice Cream Company (LICC) on Back Swinegate. Stef and Kelly also run the popular pub Thomas’s Bar.
It was almost like fate for them both. “We always talked about it and we had heard through the grapevine that it was being sold,” Stef told YorkMix, adding:
We put an offer in, it was accepted and the rest was history.
We learned from scratch, we’ve never ever done anything like this before. It was a bit daunting and a bit intimidating but we’ve done it and it’s so exciting.
A highlight are the ‘freakshakes’ – a milkshake of your choosing which comes with a range of toppings from whipped cream and marshmallows to whole slices of cheesecake, doughnuts and brownie.
Late night plans
Stef and Kelly are also applying for an alcohol license, and are planning a refurb. Stef wants to expand LICC into a late-night dessert bar – perfect for date nights. In the new year there are plans to start hosting children’s parties.
So what’s it like running LICC and Thomas’s alongside each other?
“And having an 11-month old baby?” Stef adds. “Crazy. Chaotic and crazy. But that’s our life and we love it.
“We have a very strong partnership and we work well together. I’ve got some really good team members.”
Stef and Kelly often are coming in at 4 or 5 in the morning to make the ice cream before opening time. “It’s all about teamwork, it’s all about prioritising, scheduling, and having a game plan but it works.”
The vegan selection of ice cream has grown to match the growing vegan community in York. As well as sorbets like peach and passionfruit there is also a brand new vegan gelato.
Instead of using paste or synthetic gels Stef tries to use the actual product as much as possible. “So for the mince pie flavour, there is literally nothing but mince pies in that ice cream. It’s not easy but it’s fun to experiment.”
“My personal favourite flavour is Ferrero Roche, I’m definitely a chocolate person,” Stef says. And the wackiest? “Blue cheese and pear. It sounds disgusting but it was delicious. It sold out.”
Ferrero Roche is one of the best sellers at LICC, alongside other flavours like Bakewell Tart, Malteser, Caramel cheesecake and Kinder Bueno. As well as vegan options there is also a wide range of gluten-free flavours too like Chai vanilla latte, Mint aero and Rum mojito to name a few.
Stef says “We want different, we want wacky, we want cool. It’s fun and exciting to play around with flavours.”
Also launching December 1 will be a Christmas menu featuring 20 festive flavours of ice cream. Alongside mince pie there will also be an eggnog flavour but the rest is a surprise!
They are keen to support and supply to local independent businesses in York. “We are big on sustainability and building local partnerships, and we really want to focus on that.”
The ice cream, Freakshakes and waffles all look very impressive – and it’s for a reason. Stef thinks that presentation is very important. It’s “all about the aesthetic”, especially with the trend of snapping your food and drinks for the ‘Gram.
“I think that it’s something that you are not going to see in York,” Stef says. “An instagram experience if you will.”