Mary Livingston was born in Germany but considers herself a New Orleans native. She worked as a pastry chef in the Big Easy’s lively culinary scene, where she also learned French-style custard-based ice cream making, which ignited in her a passion for the frozen treat. Shortly after moving to Santa Cruz, she started working at Cruz Creamery, an ideal place to utilize her ice cream-making skills. Livingston defines the spot as a gourmet ice cream and frozen yogurt shop with an old-timey feel. Their other 30 or so flavors of craft ice cream rotate, with favorites like Thai tea, horchata and lavender honey. There’s also self-serve frozen yogurt and a toppings bar with all the classic options. They even offer several flavors of oat-based vegan ice cream, known for its rich and creamy texture.
Hours are noon-9pm every day (10pm Fridays and Saturdays). Livingston spoke more about her background and the product she serves proudly.
How does your upbringing influence your work?
MARY LIVINGSTON: In New Orleans, if we’re not making or eating food, then we are talking about it. Working at Cruz Creamery aligns with my values and the importance of the process and preparation that goes into what we offer. And I love introducing the community to this great style of ice cream and how we make it. I’d love everyone in town to come try us out.
What sets your ice cream apart?
The great thing about custard-based ice cream is its richness. It starts on the stove almost like a crème anglaise, and from there, it is put into the ice cream machine and churned. And we also only use the finest local and/or organic ingredients, and our dyes are all food-based. Our ice cream options burst with flavor, and the ingredients come through and pop.
Cruz Creamery, 815 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, 831-600-8459; cruzcreamery.com