Sneak peek: Humphry Slocombe’s new Oakland ice cream spot

The San Francisco ice cream company prides itself on its unusual flavors with bold names. Photo: Humphry Slocombe/Facebook

Those with a sweet tooth will be pleased to learn that Humphry Slocombe is opening the blue doors to its first East Bay location next week.

The new Oakland-based shop can be found at The Hive — a gathering space that is also home to Drake’s Dealership, Red Bay Coffee, Calavera and Firebrand Bakery. Like Red Bay, Humphry Slocombe will operate out of a refurbished shipping container designed by Urban Bloc. The container has its own local history — it is a retired cargo container from the Port of Oakland. The ice cream stand is set just behind Red Bay and opposite Peoples Barber & Shop, and its electric blue hue is hard to miss.

The Bay Area ice cream company has amassed a cultish following since its founders Jake Godby and Sean Vahey launched their first parlor in San Francisco’s Mission district in 2008. Their fearlessly unusual flavors and equally bold names are hard to forget, and include favorites such as Secret Breakfast (featuring bourbon and cornflake cookies), Elvis (The Fat Years) and Here’s Your Damn Strawberry.

The grand opening for the Oakland location will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, when all are invited to enjoy free scoops, as well as performances by a DJ and drag queens Nancy Boy and Carlotta Nerve. Humphry Slocombe will also be serving up Drake’s beer floats and Red Bay Coffee affogatos, and handing out swag. 


All donations raised at the grand opening will be given to Project Open Hand, a Bay Area nonprofit that provides nutritious meals to the homes of the critically ill and elderly. For those who can’t wait, the Oakland shipping container will softly open from Thursday, Aug. 24 through Saturday, Aug. 26. (Expected hours of the soft opening will be 1 to 11 p.m. Thursday, noon-midnight, Friday and Saturday.)

The new location will feature a 12-flavor dip case – six semi-permanent flavors and six rotating, seasonal flavors, such as Brûlée Fig & Crème Fraîche and Elotes (Mexican street food-style corn on the cob). Most of the rotating flavors will be made with ingredients from local farms and produce vendors.

Each month for the first six months, one rotating flavor will relate to the spirit of Oakland in some form. First up in September, the shop will be serving Oatlandish — a happy amalgam of Drake’s stout with oatmeal cookie. The cookie is an homage to the Mother’s Cookies factory, an Oakland business that operated for almost a century before closing its 81st Avenue plant in 2006 (Kellogg’s now owns the assets for Mother’s Cookies).

Humphry Slocombe’s new location at The Hive in Oakland. Photo: Melati Citrawireja

Some other Oakland-themed flavors to look forward to will be made in collaboration with the Oakland Museum of California and Oaktown Spice Shop. If you miss a month, not to worry — on the seventh month, all six Oakland flavors will be featured at once.

“As a 30-year Oakland resident, I’m very excited about this program,” says Humphry Slocombe’s head of business, Amie Bailey.


In addition to scoops, the shop will offer signature floats and sundaes, like the Blue Bottle Cold Brew Float and the Bourbon Coke Float with housemade bourbon caramel. T-shirts, cookbooks and ice cream pints will also be sold on location.

Humphry Slocombe will provide limited folding chairs and tables, but The Hive plans on expanding the seating arrangements in the near future.

Amie Bailey, head of business, stands behind the ice cream case. Photo: Melati Citrawireja

After the grand opening on Sunday, Aug. 27, ice cream indulging hours will be from 1 to 11 p.m., Monday through Thursday; noon to midnight, Friday and Saturday and noon to 10 p.m., Sunday.

Humphry Slocombe is at 2335 Broadway (between 24th and 25th), Oakland.

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