Restaurant News & Reviews

Farm-to-scoop shop coming to downtown grid

Cynthia Broughton, owner of the soon-to-open Cornflower Creamery, poses in her new shop’s space at 1013 L St. in downtown Sacramento.
Cynthia Broughton, owner of the soon-to-open Cornflower Creamery, poses in her new shop’s space at 1013 L St. in downtown Sacramento. Cornflower Creamery

Cynthia Broughton intends to bring ice cream with a difference to downtown Sacramento. In a space opposite the state Capitol, she’ll soon open Cornflower Creamery, devoted to artisan frozen treats with a farm-to-scoop twist.

After several small delays that stalled the shop’s opening from August into autumn, Cornflower Creamery is expected to start scooping on Oct. 10 at 1013 L St., the space formerly occupied by Cafe Roma. Broughton’s hand-crafted flavors will be far from ordinary. Instead of plain chocolate or strawberry, expect such creative offerings as pistachio-apricot, candied fennel or baklava.

Broughton, an experienced businesswoman, has a background in catering and organic farming. A native Sacramentan, she returned to her hometown two years ago after working in human resources and consulting for several years in the Bay Area and New Mexico.

With such local institutions as Gunther’s, Vic’s and Leatherby’s, Sacramento already has a rich ice cream heritage, she noted, but she saw a sweet spot on the grid. “When I looked at a map of Sacramento, I realized there was no ice cream downtown,” she said. “There’s some gelato and frozen yogurt, but no ice cream – especially not like the ice creams I make. I saw that as an opportunity for me.”

Q: What was your inspiration to open an ice cream shop?

A: I’ve always had a love of food. I worked in the gourmet food industry for several years and had an organic farm in Napa Valley. I’ve always been a country girl at heart. I also worked in psychology and business; my Ph.D. is in organizational systems. I own my own consulting business, working in HR and organizational development. I was traveling on business when I noticed a couple of artisan ice cream shops. I tried them and realized, I could do this! I decided to do it April 20 and have been full-steam ahead ever since.

Q: Did you ever work with ice cream before?

A: I’ve made plenty of ice cream in the past. I’ve traveled a lot around the world and I’ve experienced a lot of flavors and tastes.

Q: Tell me about your menu.

A: There will be 10 flavors to start, but the selection will be seasonal. There will be some variation on chocolate, but it will be changing regularly. The only flavor that will stay constant is vanilla – you’ve got to have a great vanilla – but otherwise, we’ll keep mixing it up. I want to highlight local produce; that’s the main thing.

Q: What’s your favorite flavor?

A: I’m the kind of person who loves stuff in my ice cream; anything with nuts and candied fruit will be my favorite. Right now, I’m loving the baklava flavor, with honey and nuts and bits of crispy baklava.

Q: Do you think opening an ice cream shop in October will be a challenge?

A: There were delays. I found this great space in May (in the city-owned structure adjacent to the Capitol Garage), but the City Council docket was so booked, I couldn’t even get on the agenda (for approval) until July. … But the delays actually may have turned out for the good. Summer is so busy, it’s hard to start a business when you know that you’ll have to be racing on all cylinders. And I love fall, I love the flavors of this season. (The shop) is right across the street from the Capitol; there’s something going on all the time, so we should be busy even if it’s not summer.

Debbie Arrington: 916-321-1075, @debarrington

Cynthia Broughton

Owner, Cornflower Creamery

After a career in business and human relations, Broughton returned to her hometown and saw a need for something she loves – hand-crafted ice cream.