Cal Poly Pomona branded ice cream, created in partnership with Cal Poly Pomona Enterprises, the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture and Coney Island Creamery, will be available to the public on Aug.23.
The ice cream will be sold in the Farm Store and select Dining Services locations on campus upon release. Made with Cal Poly Pomona student grown fruit, the flavors launched will be Satsuma Mandarin and Avocado.
The collaboration between Coney Island Creamery and CPP began in October 2022 when Executive Chef Tonya Tardd was searching for a local ice cream vendor in preparation for the Pumpkin Fest Preview Night.
Coney Island Creamy is a family-owned, women-owned, small-batch ice cream manufacturer located in San Dimas that specializes in tropical and Southeast Asian ice cream flavors such as such as ube, macapuno (coconut), and avocado.
“One of the goals I like to incorporate is sustainability,” Tardd said. “I seek out vendors that are local to try to incorporate equity and diversity into our supply chain.”
Tardd sought to include CPP ingredients in the dessert to align with the event’s farm-to-table theme.
Since avocados were in season, they decided on an avocado-flavored ice cream for the Pumpkin Fest Preview Night, using CPP-grown Hass avocados. The creamery was immediately impressed at the superior quality of CPP avocados versus the produce they were familiar working with.
“We basically had to amend our existing avocado ice cream recipe to fit the avocados from the Cal Poly Pomona farm because they were just so creamy and complimentary,” said Coney Island Creamery’s Catering and Events Manager Candice Mallari.
The ice cream’s massive success at the preview night led Coney Island Creamy to submit the CPP avocado-flavored ice cream to the LA International Dairy Competition, where it won a gold award.
“With ice cream, you want the flavor of the ingredient to hit your tongue first and then the velvetiness,” said Tardd “For Coney Island Creamery to win an award with [our] ice cream is peak superbness for me because the judges were able to taste that too. They knew that using Cal Poly Pomona avocados took the ice cream to the next level.”
This project has involved CPP students in every step of product development. Students learning at CPP Farms harvested the fruit, the student culinary development team worked to develop flavor profiles and visual communications student Rachel Hunter created the artwork for the packaging along with the ice cream’s brand identity.
Hunter worked under the guidance of CPP Enterprises’ marketing department in order to curate a product design that perfectly encapsulated the farm-to-table approach the ice cream was centered around, while paying homage to Cal Poly Pomona’s roots
“This project has brought me a great sense of accomplishment,” Hunter said. “Seeing my design evolve from a simple idea to a real product validated the hard work, effort, and dedication I poured into it. I eagerly anticipate the moment when my design will finally be displayed on shelves for everyone to see and enjoy.”
The ice cream packaging features key university icons, including the silos, farms and the famed Arabian horses beloved by William K. Kellogg. Since this product will be sold to the public via the Farm Store, the packaging features a QR code that’s linked to the “Ice Cream Story,” hosted by CPPE, and encourages those who are interested in innovative learning to apply to Cal Poly Pomona.
The CPP Farms ice cream truly celebrates Cal Poly Pomona’s commitment to sustainability, excellence and learn-by-doing. Once launched, the two ice cream flavors will be available for purchase on campus for $3.99 per cup and $8.99 per pint.