Not exactly a scoop but I noticed earlier this week that Humphrey Slocombe’s Abbot Kinney outpost had closed. I was not surprised. On evenings when the line at Salt & Straw was down the block (California), there would be few if any customers trickling in at Humphrey Slocombe just .2 miles away, somehow still frozen out from drawing the overflow.
Was it that Salt & Straw was that much better, was it location, or just more savvy marketing? Perhaps a combination of all three melting together with the high rents on that street.
Certainly, Humphrey Slocombe offered some interesting and unique flavors and usually turned out a good product–but Salt & Straw always seemed to execute its offerings better. A tad too often Humphrey Slocombe would serve ice cream that had too large ice crystals in the product and the scoop size was less generous for the price than at Salt & Straw. P.R. was also not its strong suit, though I did see occasional interesting promotions and tie-ins, including fun ones with Glenlivet and Rose Cafe. Being at the tail end of Abbot Kinney probably did not help, though the ice cream store across the street from Salt & Straw (Nice Cream?) did not long survive the competition either (on the other hand the Van Leuwen truck that regularly visits seems to do fine). A bit further off in Venice, Jeni’s Splendid and Wanderlust, while not drawing quite the crowds of Salt & Straw seem to be doing fine. Regardless, in the end, Humphrey Slocombe somehow found itself licked.