Robyn Sue Fisher, Smitten Ice Cream
Smitten Ice Cream owner and Founder Robyn Sue Fisher grew up eating ice cream, and her love for the cool sweet treat didn’t wane, even as she pursued a career as a management consultant. But after realizing that a life of PowerPoint presentations wasn’t for her, Fisher went back to graduate school to gain skills in entrepreneurship. “My goal was to take something I loved and make it better and the food industry has always been incredibly compelling to me,” Fisher said.
Fisher set her sights on the world of ice cream, which she says had become “heavily industrialized” since the days of her youth. In an effort to increase shelf life, ice cream recipes were laden with gums, emulsifiers, preservatives and other “deplorables” or “unpronounceables,” as Fisher and her team call them. Fisher sought to correct for industrialization by creating a machine that would make ice cream with wholesome, pure ingredients. The ice cream was made to order so that it didn’t need to be stored. Fisher worked for two years with a retired engineer to build her machine and began selling her ice cream out of a red wagon on the streets of San Francisco. “I used Twitter to post my location of the day [and] flavor of the day,” she said.
Now that Smitten Ice Cream has become an up and coming force in the food industry, Fisher says she still holds on to many of the principles that guided her initial grassroots, ice cream selling efforts to run her business. “We’re all about making sure that–not only is it ingredients that you understand and know but it’s also the highest quality of those ingredients and ones that have a positive impact on the world,” Fisher said. To this end, Smitten Ice Cream only puts out six flavors per day and circulates through a number of seasonal flavors throughout the year. Fisher plans to continue growing her business in San Francisco as a way of investing in and giving back to the city that gave Smitten Ice Cream its start. “We believe in creating a family,” she said. Above all, Fisher believes in good, recognizable food.
“Food is food, it is not food science,” she added. “And our belief is if you’re going to eat dessert, eat it right.”