By Yolanda Miranda
Many of the new small business recently opened on Abbot Kinney cater to to the hip bohemic affluent and contribute to the gentifrication of Venice. I miss the old days when Abbot Kinney (then Washington Blvd.) was a mecca of second-hand stores selling their wares in clothing and furniture for low income people like me.
Living on a fixed-income, I admit I don’t really shop at the clothing boutiques although I do splurge once in awhile buying earrings or a scarf I can’t resist for myself or my sisters.
Last September I noticed a store located next to Pinkberry was being renovated. I assumed it would be another boutique but to my surprise it was an ice cream parlor. Not a franchised chain store, they make gelato and sorbet daily in the independent store. The various fresh flavors are based on the fruit that is in season.
The display counter with its large sparkling clean window is enticing, there are so many flavors with deep and rich colors making it difficult to make a decision. Thank goodness you can try each before buying!
The owners Laura Nielsen and Christian Toxobe were both born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark, and are young, friendly and greet you with a smile. After graduating from college they traveled together through Asia, Spain and the United States.
Laura received her teaching degree and taught third grade. Christian, has a background in music, promoted concerts in Denmark, and lived in New York as well. In between jobs, Christian went to work in Copenhagen for a store making gelato. He quickly found another passion besides music.
When the business began to expand, it cut down on the quality of its product to make more profit and became a string of chain stores. The company was known prior as a hippie, worker-friendly, low-key operation. It transformed into a corporate-mean mentality, said Laura.
What to do? Christian and Laura took time off since they did not want to be part of that corporate philosophy. They spent time in Spain to contemplate what they would do next. They both were in agreement they loved making ice cream, pleasing customers and owning a small shop. They decided to come to America to fulfill their dream.
They scouted Seattle and different places in America to start their business. On their first trip to Venice they knew immediately they wanted to live here, open up their business and they did. The charm and romance of Venice did not stop there. They were married less than a month after opening their business.
Within a short time since opening their business they both have been involved in working with children in foster care, or at-risk, inviting them as a group to see how gelato is made and taking a quick few lessons. For its not every neighborhood that has a speciality homemade ice cream parlor or a young couple willing to share their knowledge in an old ice cream tradition.
Congratulations Laura and Christian on your marriage, business and making children feel important Welcome to Venice! Your gelato and sorbet is equal to what I have tasted in Italia.
N’ice Cream, 1410 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Business Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11am-10pm
Sunday: 9am -10pm