Salt & Straw, once Portland's little ice cream cart that could, shattered the American record for two-day sales of ice cream at their just-opened shoppe on Larchmont Boulevard in Los Angeles, officials announced Monday morning
When all the sales figures were tallied, Salt & Straw had had amassed $125,988 in gross sales over this past weekend, a spokeswoman for the National Ice Cream Organization (NICO) announced during a press conference at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The previous record mark had been $114,345 at the opening of the C.C. Brown's in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, California during the infamous 1969 heat wave.
Unfortunately for Salt & Straw's owners, first cousins Kim and Tyler Malek, the actual net profits this past weekend were a paltry $457, as much of the gross was spent on the high quality ingredients of the ice creams and on "excessive" samples.
An independent report by NICO states that a "very large portion" of the record gross sales was lost in the "ridiculously high number of free samples" the Salt & Straw staff gave away to the thousands of customers. NICO estimated for every $5 dollars a customer spent , they received $4.89 in samples.
"That's no way to run a business," said Richard Goldman of Goldman Sachs. "It'd be like buying a Porsche Turbo S and the salesman throws in a Carrera 4S for free."
The lines along Larchmont were like nothing the street has ever seen, longtime residents said. At 10:15 p.m. on Saturday night, there were 42 people lined up outside the shoppe. At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, there were 50 people in line. The lines seemed to move along without major incident and the people seemed happy to be in the line. The LAPD, bought in to control the lines, said no "serious" arrests were made
Many in line had heard of the generosity of Kim, Tyler and the staff.
"I don't have any money," said one man in line who refused to give his name. "But, i heard i can have four or five samples. Shit, i look dumb to you? Salt & Straw is the best deal in town."
Salt & Straw is at 240 N. Larchmont Boulevard ( about five stores south of Beverly Blvd.) near the magazine rack. They are open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. See the photo below for ice cream flavors.
NOTE : Salt & Straw's feisty "Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons", one of the favorites, was featured in this Feb. 12, 2014 article : http://krikorianwrites.com/blog/2014/2/11/t167qq7z49nwphlnqc9y6y4bdlmsot