by Kathy Eide Casas
If you’re looking for the scoop on where to enjoy the best handmade homemade ice cream California has to offer, you’ll find it at Fresno’s own Ampersand. Located in the heart of the historic Fresno High neighborhood, local owners Jeff and Amelia Bennett have followed their vision of creating a unique place where great ice cream and community meet.
The moment the doors to Ampersand opened this past Memorial Day, Jeff and Amelia watched with amazement as their idea blossomed into one of the hottest—and coolest!—successes ever in the history of Fresno’s ice cream.
Of their opening day, Jeff Bennett said it was gratifying and, “Amazing to see how people responded to the concept and the business model of what we’re trying to do.” And… the response has continued to grow. Ampersand enjoys a large following from the neighborhood and most days, you will find a line of customers, gladly waiting for the flavorful scoops of intimate goodness, found only in Ampersand’s homemade ice cream and flavors ranging from Berry Basil to Brown Butter Brandy to Mad Duck Oatmeal Stout—these are not the typical strawberry, chocolate or vanilla flavors!
Open late by design, Jeff explained, “The hours are late and were designed specifically to provide the community with a place to go and enjoy after a movie or other activities.” It’s nice to have an option that’s not a bar.
Using only fresh Fresno ingredients, Ampersand’s delicious goodness is made on site. Actually a state licensed dairy plant, Ampersand’s Amelia and Jeff Bennett are state licensed pasteurizers. Certainly one of the smallest plants ever, Ampersand pasteurizes in gallon batches. Aiming to preserve the integrity of the unique flavors, Ampersand prides itself on always producing a fantastic product.