How do you leave a successful career as a producer in Hollywood to make small batch, artisan ice cream? On a farm in Northern California? With goats, no less? A craving to get in touch with a more sustainable lifestyle was certainly the driving force, but for the creator of LaLoo’s Goat’s Milk Ice Cream, falling in love with a like-minded person helped set it all in motion.
Laura and her husband Douglas settled in their little farming community of Petaluma after meeting in Italy for work. Laura already had her goat’s milk ice cream idea brewing and David was fully immersed in the slow food movement. (Check out his first, beautifully photographed book Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town)
Douglas reminded her that ice cream is a harder sell in Italy, known for their scrumptious gelatos, sorbets and granitas. Upon their return to the States (Douglas was a California boy too), they settled in Marin County because it was known for the great goat dairies. After meeting and learning from other farmers, and a little trial and error, LaLoo’s Ice Cream was born (named after Laura’s childhood nickname).
Since 2004, LaLoo’s has gone from being made in an antique ice cream maker at home, to batch freezer, to commercial kitchen, to small co-packer not far from their home. They’ve also outgrown their farm so LaLoo’s now outsources to two co-ops that follow the same guidelines that are important to Laura and in turn she supports small farmers in California and Wisconsin. The flavors have shifted as well over the years. Before settling on her go-to flavors (vanilla, chocolate, coffee and mint) there was apparently the amazing sounding Molasses Tipsy Cake! Maybe we can start a write-in campaign to have that brought back!
Laura’s ice cream features only the milk from the Nubian breed of goats as they are known for their high butter fat content, but goat’s milk ice cream is still lower in fat then most cow’s milk based ice cream. The taste is incredible and naturally lower in lactose. It’s hormone free, and Humane and Kosher Certified. (For more info on the difference in goat and cow’s milk, head here.) Laura says it’s been a labor of love for her but along with her growth has come the freedom of having a team getting her ice cream into stores. The ultimate goal for many small batch food artisans. You can find LaLoo’s Ice Cream near you by going here.
I love when a couple like Laura and Douglas (and their cutie pie daughter) commit to the connection between happiness and a healthy lifestyle, dig in and go for it, finding a way to make a living along the way. Did I mention they also co-founded The Lexicon for Sustainability? Yea, they are pretty awesome and inspiring. I’ll be talking more about that in another article. Meanwhile, I hope you have found some inspiration for your own small batch ideas, here in Petaluma.