L.A. Creamery’s innovative flavors are hand crafted and hand packed. Our Flavor Designers are redefining ice cream as a culinary art form... an ice cream for the iGeneration. The founders' fascination with flavors ranging from the avant-garde to traditional, as well as their interest in modern design and pop-culture all play a role in the developing and marketing of L.A. Creamery ice cream products.
L.A. Creamery manufactures all natural, artisan ice creams which contain no high fructose corn syrup, no rBGH/rBST or added hormones and absolutely no artificial colors.
Stephen Bikoff, Chief Creative Officer
Stephen Bikoff grew up surrounded by artistry. Between the ages of seven and 14, he could look out his Manhattan front window and there was Lincoln Center and the Juilliard School with their boundless supply of creativity.
Raised by a talent agent mother, that creativity engulfed young Stephen and by the time the family moved to Southern California, he was hanging out with actors, writers, and rock musicians. How could he not? He was living at the Sunset Marquis, the storied two-story inn near the Sunset Strip that was a haven for rock stars and other celebrities. He’d go to the Newbridge School in the morning, then hang out at the pool with his mom’s clients Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey, or have discussions with playwright John Ford Noonan, or simply look up and observe rock stars and their balcony shenanigans.
That enticing lifestyle left an impression on young Stephen to the point where, a few years later, he embraced it. He started hanging out at Mickey and Joey’s, a street stand that sold magazines, soda pop, and, umm, ice cream. The stand was co-owned by actor Mickey Rourke.
Let Stephen tell a story.
“One night, I'm laying on the curb of the sidewalk near his store, using my leather jacket as a pillow...thinking about life, college, next steps. All of a sudden, Mickey and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols are standing over me. Mickey looks at me, and says in a whispery voice, ‘You're one of us.’ And I was. So, I started a creative journey, with Mickey Rourke at the center of a world filled with fascinating artists and people. “
Then one day, the journey was over and Bikoff knew it was time for a different type of education. With a youth like that, it’s not a shocker where Bikoff attended college. Where else? The University of California, Berkeley. At that symbol of individualism and free thinking, Stephen found himself fascinated by history, focusing his studies on Hitler’s Germany and – fittingly, for Berkeley - revolutionary America.
Stephen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Berkeley
Even with that classic education, Bikoff’s creative passion did not waiver. In fact, it drew him back to the arts as he partnered with his mother’s company as a talent manager.
So how does ice cream come into play? And L.A. Creamery? It all goes back to his youth and his mother entertaining her clients. She rarely cooked, but they would go out to the finest restaurants and the best dives. As Steve puts it “I was probably a foodie by age 14.” Now, at age 45, he’s still a foodie. Only thing is the food he loves the most is just a whole lot cooler.
Stephen's passion for ice cream led to a modern artisan ice cream company with a core vision for designing flavors based on creativity and using super premium ingredients. Stephen’s fascination with art, design, and pop-culture all play a role at L.A. Creamery.
Brad Saltzman, Chief Guestologist
Brad Saltzman is all about the guests. Even though he is the co-founder of L.A. Creamery along with childhood friend Stephen Bikoff, if you asked him his job title, he’d quickly reply “Chief Guestologist”.
Guestology is the simple art of serving guests beyond their expectation and Saltzman believes this lays the foundation for a wonderful experience.
“Being a guestologist is either something you have or you don’t” says Saltzman, 46. “It’s in my blood.”
Based on Saltzman’s family tree, the art of fine service very well might be part of Brad’s DNA. In the 1930s and 40s his uncles Michael and Abe Lyman, the latter a well known bandleader, opened a restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard, Mike Lyman’s Grill. The brothers also owned the beloved Simon’s Drive-In.
Following their path, Brad, while still in high school, landed his first job in the hospitality business, as a host of the wildly popular barbeque restaurant RJ’s in Beverly Hills, owned by Bob Morris, one of the most successful restaurateurs in the United States.
After two years, Saltzman was promoted to “manager cadet” at Morris’ flagships, Gladstone’s 4 Fish in Malibu and the Malibu Sea Lion. “I was so excited,” recalled Saltzman recently. “Only 18 years old and I was going to be manager of the famous Gladstone’s, one of the highest grossing restaurants in all of California.”
Young Brad excelled at his job by setting one primary goal; Make the guest happy.
Saltzman is quick to credit Bob Morris with his success and even with his current job title. “Bob Morris was way ahead of his time and a brilliant man in the restaurant business. He had a term he used called Guestology which meant taking care of the guest.
Saltzman eventually moved on, and began working in hotels, including the exclusive Hotel Jerome in Aspen and the Seelbach Hilton in Louisville, Kentucky where he was the Director of Restaurants. His primary focus there was at the hotel’s revered Oak Room and his facetious attention to detail – overseeing the dining room - was rewarded with a rare Five Diamond rating from the Triple AAA guide book, the only such honored restaurant in Kentucky.
From there, Brad moved south to be Director of Operations at the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort in Florida. Then he was back to California, as the General Manager of the Red Lion Hotel in Modesto.
In Modesto, a tragic incident - at-the time-the case of a missing woman, one Laci Peterson - personified Saltzman’s dedication to guests, particularly those in need. As the hunt for Laci intensified, Saltzman, on his own call, offered a large meeting room of the Red Lion to serve as the command center for the search. This was much appreciated by the family, friends, the media and even law enforcement.
However, an instinct told him, the missing woman’s husband, Scott Peterson, was a liar. “I never saw him cry. I never saw his eyes red” said Saltzman, who saw Scott Peterson almost on a daily basis. Peterson, who would eventually be convicted and sent to death row in San Quentin for Laic’s murder, and his parents Jackie and Lee Peterson, was banned from the hotel by Saltzman after Saltzman heard Lee Peterson on Larry King telling Larry that Laic’s mother, Sharon should go to jail for going in their home to get Laic’s wedding dress. That move made national news. Yet, even though Saltzman turned out to be right in his gut feeling, he was fired by the hotel’s management company.
Like countless jolts to countless careers, getting fired turned out to be a good thing. Back in Los Angeles, he opened a series of valet parking companies, and also acquired Malibu based Valet Girls Parking which was founded in Malibu in 1983. At one point the Saltzman’s ran the valet parking operations at 36 Los Angeles area restaurants. Currently, Brad runs valet parking operations at prestigious west coast restaurants, including Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, Hatfield’s, La Brea Bakery and Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach. Saltzman passes on his talent as a guestoglogist to all of his valet attendants.
“When people go out to dinner, the very first service they encounter is not the host, not the bartender, but the valet. A valet can help set the tone for the evening so when my attendants take the guest’s car, we don’t care if it’s a 30-year-old Ford, or a brand new Mercedes Benz. That guest is as important to us as anyone in town.”
So how can a Guestologist make a difference at L.A. Creamery? After all, it’s not like they’ll be a waiter in the supermarket aisle guiding you through an ice cream selections like it was the wine menu at the Oak Room in Louisville.
Here’s how. Brad Saltzman is bound and determined to make L.A. Creamery the standout ice cream available at supermarkets in the United States. He demands - in his disarmingly charming fashion - his team uses ingredients that might cost more, but surely taste better, like the organic hazelnuts that he has shipped in from Oregon or all natural peanut butter cups or the gluten free, all natural, and Kosher certified Toffee he has shipped in from Oregon. He’ll make sure L.A. Creamery products are delivered to stores in small quantities because freshness is paramount. And he will make sure the pricing will be fair, even a deal for the high quality of this superb ice cream.
After all, Brad Saltzman just wants to make sure his guests, wherever they may be, are thrilled.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What does “All Natural” Mean?
L.A. Creamery has no added preservatives, no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no growth hormones, and no high fructose corn syrup.
- What is “hormone-free” dairy?
L.A. Creamery is made with only freshly pasteurized milk, free of the growth hormones rBGH and rBST.
- How does being “responsible and sustainable” apply to L.A. Creamery?
We understand that this is a really big world, but that we only have one planet. We here at L.A. Creamery are trying our best to be as environmentally conscientious as we can be. We buy as locally as possible to support our local economy and to reduce our environmental footprint.
- Do you sell wholesale?
Yes! Please go to our wholesale page for details.
If you still have unanswered questions about L.A. Creamery, don’t be shy, pick up the phone or email us to let us know what’s on your mind. We are eager to please!