Coming to San Francisco
Spun in Oakland

Little Giant Ice Cream was born of a simple love for ice cream. The experiences it inspires, the memories it helps create. It’s simple, honest and easy. But it’s also decadent– a treat for the best of times, and the ultimate comfort during the tough stuff.

We started Little Giant out of a desire to relive the richness of those experiences with a community we’ve come to cherish. Located in the heart of the East Bay, Little Giant is Oakland’s scoop shop. All of our ingredients are locally sourced and of the highest quality– but as a savvy consumer, you’ve come to expect that.

As a part of the Oakland community, we want to reflect the spirit of the city we inhabit. That means our ever-changing flavor lineup will be determined not only by the ingredients that are in season, but by customer demand. Fully open to public viewing, you can watch our team craft new flavors weekly. We want to hear from you, so come by and tell us what you think.

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FLAVORS

AIRSTREAM

You may have spotted our shiny Airstream trailer out and about in Oakland or San Francisco. Wondering what the deal is?

Our Airstream is a 1964 model, tricked out with everything necessary for transporting and serving Little Giant’s shop-made ice cream. Developed in the 1930s by Thor Industries, the now-iconic aluminum trailers were originally made as recreational vehicles for campers and travelers. While no one’s living out of the Little Giant Airstream (for now), it does allow us to spread the joy of ice cream all across the Bay Area. We’re nomadic purveyors of everyone’s favorite treat.

The Little Giant airstream is also available for parties, events, festivals and more. If you’re interested in having us as a part of your gig, reach out to Neil Rideout at neil@littlegianticecream.com.

PEEPS

THE TEAM

NEIL RIDEOUT, Owner

Neil Rideout is a Bay Area almost-native and a born lover of ice cream. Raised in LA, Neil’s high school job at Baskin-Robbins was his first introduction to the ice cream business (and it also financed the purchase of his first car– a 1972 powder blue VW bug). Some of his fondest childhood memories are of outings to Foster’s Freeze with his mother, who never needed an occasion to justify stopping in for a scoop.

Since relocating to the Bay in 1992, Neil has played a multitude of roles in various restaurants, beginning at Olive’s in Oakland. From there, he accepted an apprenticeship at the Hotel Laurentius in the mountain getaway town of Weikersheim, Germany, where he worked under master chef Jurgen Koch. (His aforementioned ice cream and cake decorating background came in handy here, as one of his jobs on the line was plating the desserts!) Neil has also worked in the kitchens of Jeremiah Towers Stars Restaurant, MC2 and Elizabeth Daniel and has served as head chef and managing partner at Cigar Bar & Grill in downtown San Francisco since 2002.

Five years ago, Neil moved back to Oakland from the city, and started thinking about bringing something new to the neighborhood. He couldn’t think of anything more exciting and fun than a scoop shop. So in 2014, Neil and Kevin traveled to State College, PA to take part in Penn State’s world-renowned Ice Cream Course, attended by some of the greatest minds in ice cream (Ben & Jerry, hats off to you).

What makes ice cream so special? “It’s the treat you share,” says Neil. “You tell your friends, ‘you’ve got to try this,’ or ‘let me taste yours.’ It’s used to celebrate the win, the birthday, the romance. It also consoles the loss, the scrape or fall, and the heartache. It’s magical.”

KEVIN BEST, Owner

Born on the coast of North Carolina, Kevin Best spent his youth working on a farm. Like most southern kids, he developed an affinity for buttermilk biscuits, ice cream, and a good, home-cooked meal. The women in his life were his greatest teachers; as gifted chefs and hostesses, his mother and grandmother worked wonders in the kitchen. These early influences would lead him into the restaurant business, inspiring an eye toward hospitality and the culinary arts that he’d never be able to shake, no matter how hard he tried.

An avid lover of music, Kevin studied Jazz Performance at UNC Greensboro, but was drawn to the restaurant biz after college. After learning all about California wines as a GM at the Undercurrant in Wilmington, NC, he and his lovely wife Misty picked up and moved to the west coast.

Upon arriving in San Francisco, the couple opened Boxed Foods Company in 2004, a sandwich and salad shop with locally-sourced produce and top-of-the-line ingredients. Shortly after, they opened B Restaurant in Oakland and a second location in San Francisco, overlooking the Yerba Buena Gardens. Focusing on cocktails and small plates, Kevin describes it as “an oasis in the middle of the city.” In 2009, the couple worked with friends to open ERA Art Bar and Lounge in Oakland, which features work from local artists and live music.

Despite these diverse endeavors, Kevin knew it was time for something different. Uncharted territory. So he partnered with longtime pal Neil Rideout in 2014 to begin laying the plans for Little Giant Ice Cream. But what is it, exactly, that makes ice cream so special?

“My earliest memory of ice cream revolves around my grandmother’s hand-cranked ice cream maker, which she used to make a chunky vanilla topped off with warm maple syrup– a combination that can only be described as killer,” says Kevin. “Then there were the teenage years. Every girl that would say yes to my invitation to go on a date to the mall would get a romantic stop by the Dairy Queen to share their favorite Blizzard flavor. Ice cream on a date back then was like Chardonnay on a date now. Always seemed to make me feel a little less dorky. I know the girls were smiling about the ice cream, but I always told myself, ‘I took them to get the ice cream.’”

REBECCA WILLIS, Pastry Director

Raised on Maryland’s eastern shore, Rebecca Willis studied philosophy at Roanoke College in Virginia and then made her way to Le Cordon Bleu in London to study the art of patisserie. After working as a pastry chef at Gramercy Tavern in NYC and Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, VA, she moved across the country to the Bay Area. Since relocating she has worked at Michelin-rated La Toque and Morimoto, both in Napa, and has worked as a private chef.

As a pastry chef in fine dining restaurants, Rebecca always felt that ice cream was one of the most important components of a dessert. Burnt out by the pretension and intense manipulation behind some of these elaborate creations, she wanted to get back to basics. “Ice cream is an honest and timeless dessert, but it has endless flavor possibilities and twists,” she says. “It’s exciting to be one of the only shops in the area that’s pasteurizing our own base. The way we are making our ice cream gives us so much flexibility and so many flavor options.”

Rebecca assists in winery events, private parties, cooking classes, and more. She loves cooking at home (full meals– not just dessert), as well as hiking, gardening and reading.

WHERE TO FIND US

CONTACT US

ADDRESS

1951 Telegraph Ave. Oakland

UPTOWN