Noozhawk reports that the Great Pacific Ice Cream Company on Stearns Wharf is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
I am not sure why, though, because fewer than 30 years ago that location was Hobson’s Ice Cream.
In the summer of 1986 I worked at the Hobson’s factory on what is now Calle Cesar Chavez. Hobson’s was known for allowing you to blend your choice of extras, like M&M’s and Oreo’s, right into the ice cream, which wasn’t common at the time.
In the factory I would make many different flavors of ice cream and every one of them started with a base of vanilla or chocolate. As soon as a batch was mixed I would pack barrels of ice cream in the freezer, wearing a jumpsuit and motorcycle helmet, until my limbs couldn’t move from the cold. I would then lay in the Santa Barbara sun to thaw out, and repeat the entire process. For each batch, if the very last barrel couldn’t be filled to a full 15 pounds, employees got to take it home. Those were good times.
One of my other duties was to drive a huge refrigerator truck and make deliveries to the Hobson’s location on Coast Village Road, currently the home of Panino, and to the Hobson’s Ice Cream outlet on Stearns Wharf, currently the home of Great Pacific Ice Cream Company.