Kreem Artisanal Ice Cream
Gourmet ice cream from a globetrotting entrepreneur
By Kevin Perry
Chatting with Bianca Simonian makes you realize that anything is possible, from whipping up a batch of espresso lavender ice cream to launching successful eateries in two desert lands on opposite ends of the earth. Her revelations prompt the listener to do a delicious double take.
For instance, here’s a sample of our conversation: “I was the personal chef of Lucy Lawless for a while. Yeah! She was so cool,” beams Simonian. When asked if the Xena: Warrior Princess star had ever visited Kreem, Simonian answers, “No, because they moved back to New Zealand. That was before I went to Kuwait, so over ten years ago.”
OK, now that you’ve had a taste, let’s dive in for a heaping helping of wait, did she say Kuwait? Yes, indeed!
Bianca’s life story comes billowing out freely, like a blizzard of words pleasantly dusting through her past and carrying us into her present. “I’m from Los Angeles, California. I ended up here basically because my Mom moved out here,” narrates Simonian. “I was kind of tired of the LA scene, and I’m really close to my Mom and I wanted for once in my life to live within driving distance to her.”
But something was missing from Simonian’s Palm Springs paradise. “I’ve always been a huge ice cream fan, to say the least, and when I would come out here to visit her, especially when it was hot, we both love ice cream and we’d want ice cream and didn’t find anything artisanal or creative. It was all just kind of the generic stuff goin’ on.”
Never one to accept the status snow, Simonian dug into her roots and unearthed a lifelong ambition. “I’m a chef, I’ve been in the industry forever, and it’s kind of been a dream of mine to have an ice cream shop.”
It’s a dream that spans two decades and three continents, as Bianca delightfully recounts.
“I did do culinary school back in 2000, and I’ve been working in the industry in one way or another since I was 15. After culinary school, I went to London to apprentice under Marco Pierre White, and then I came back to LA and worked at a few restaurants for a few chefs, then did the personal chef thing, tons of catering, went to Kuwait, opened a restaurant, was there for six years, then came back home and ended up here, basically.”
Oh, there’s nothing basic about a gastronomic voyage that leads from SoCal to the Saudi Peninsula. Please do go on…
“I went there knowing I wanted to do something because I thought it would be easier, for some reason!” Simonian crafted her Kuwaiti business with an unparalleled determination and a plucky sense of optimism. “Three months into living there, I found a location. I knew I wanted to open a breakfast restaurant, American breakfast, so yeah – I opened that and two years later I had a second one.”
So, how do the deserts of the Middle East and the Inland Empire compare? “They both do have that small town feel, that’s for sure,” Bianca assesses. “Coming from LA, you can disappear and not see anyone you know for, like, a year. But somewhere like this or Kuwait, you bump into someone you know everywhere and everyone kinda talks. Yeah!”
Simonian punctuates her sentiments with colorful flourishes of Yeahs and Y’knows, like the rainbow hued sprinkles on her signature confetti ice cream. She brings her boundless enthusiasm to every dish she prepares, noting, “We try to make as much as possible in-house. I guess that’s the kind of the appeal is that everything’s made here. It’s owner-operated, small batch, and seasonal. I just try to be as creative as I can be with the flavors without turning people off.”
As an aside, Bianca chirps, “I make my own almond milk!”
It’s a labor of luscious love, and Simonian’s ambition never stops churning. “This whole place, and the ice cream, was all built by hand – scratch to finish.” With a hearty chuckle, she adds, “Like, I tiled the damn place, I did the floors, you know what I mean? It’s very hands-on and very homemade. Yeah! We just hope you appreciate that.”
Thus far, Palm Springs has responded with a collective Heck Yeah!
“The community has been super-great.” Taking a contemplative beat, Simonian qualifies her statement. “A lot of people do ask, ‘Why did you choose that location?’ and ‘Where do you park? Oh my god!’ But I don’t know! I just have a feeling, you know, and I kind of like being off the beaten path because it becomes like a destination location and it’s a good way to even test your own product and your own skills. It makes it feel more local and cozy. We’ve gotten to know a lot of the locals that live around here and a lot of the small businesses around here and we’re all trying to work together to make this area a little pocket – a cool little pocket in Palm Springs.”
Tucked away in its own sugary Shangri-La, Bianca’s shop is cool, indeed. Chillax to the max and try one of her masterful concoctions the next time you find yourself pocket-adjacent.
170 East Palm Canyon Dr. | 760.699.8129