Even though Anjelica Yee graduated from Humboldt State with a degree in Wildlife Conservation, she’s running an ice cream shop that her grandfather bought on a whim. Yee has worked in the restaurant industry since she was 16, so she makes an ideal GM for Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, which opened a couple months ago in Aptos.
The signature ice cream made on-site daily is known for its rich and creamy texture. Also, the ice cream served is no more than six days old to ensure freshness.
Yee says Cookies and Cream is the most popular flavor. Still, some of the boundary-pushing options, namely Chocolate Mudslide—with dark chocolate ripples, marshmallows and Oreo crumbles—are also crowd-pleasers. Other flavor favorites include Southern Banana Pudding (white chocolate sauce and Nilla wafers) and Jamaican Me Crazy (made with coconut ice cream, fudge ripples and buttered almonds). As a vegan, Yee takes pride in serving multiple “legitimately good” oat milk-based vegan ice cream options—they also do Italian ice and sorbet.
Hours are 12-9pm every day. Yee gave GT the scoop on oat milk ice cream and how a Wildlife Conservation degree influences her work.
Tell us about your vegan ice cream.
ANJELICA YEE: It’s made with oat milk, and when I first tried it, I couldn’t believe it wasn’t made with dairy. I’ve had a lot of vegan ice creams, and I’m not biased, but our oat milk ice cream is the best I’ve ever had. It’s addicting; every day I work, I fight the urge to not eat some, but I usually give in. It’s super creamy and sweet, but not too sweet, has no weird aftertaste, and a non-vegan would probably think it had dairy.
From a Wildlife Conservation degree to ice cream is quite a switch.
Although not directly related to what I’m doing now, my education shaped my worldview of human consumption as a whole. I am seeking to reduce our waste as much as possible and hopefully eliminate single-use plastics and shipping waste. Ideally, we have the goal of sourcing more of our ingredients locally and re-thinking how we serve our product. I would even one day love to have a policy where if people bring in their own spoon and/or cup, we give them a discount. Our goal at the end of the day is to make not only our guests happy, but also the Earth.
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, 150 Rancho Del Mar, Aptos, 831-226-1034; brusters.com