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Ice Gourmet: The ice cream that won over the biggest chefs

Ice Gourmet: The ice cream that won over the biggest chefs

María Santos © ffmag

In the heart of Alhandra, business owner Maria Santos has forged a flavour empire that has conquered Portugal’s most discerning palettes. Santos, the founder of Ice Gourmet, has taken her family’s ice-cream and pastry-making tradition to new levels, turning her passion for ice cream into a success story that resonates in each mouthful.


Sweet beginnings in Alhandra

Ever since she was a child, Santos has been passionate about gastronomy. Born into a family of pastry makers, her grandparents founded the most famous patisserie in the area. Santos’ parents carried on the tradition, running a café and ice-cream parlour in Alhandra. From a young age, Santos was an enthusiastic part of the family business, testing the delicious ice creams that she made with her own hands.

In the year 2000, Santos left her restaurant job to join her parents at the ice-cream parlour. It was there that the seed was sown for what would later become Ice Gourmet. Fate would later cross her path when she met Bertílio Gomes at the restaurant Bica do Sapato. Today, in addition to being a couple, they share their love for creating ice cream.

Making ice cream Ice Gourmet. Portugal

Making ice cream © Ice Gourmet


Ice Gourmet is born

In 2003, Santos and Gomes decided to put a bold new twist on the family business. By changing the recipes of Santos’ parents, they ventured to create unique ice cream flavours using fresh fruit and organic produce. What started out as a bit of fun, soon became a culinary phenomenon. Orders began to multiply, leading them to make weekly deliveries in Lisbon.

As demand grew, Ice Gourmet formed a strategic partnership with Nordmann, which now distributes their products across the length and breadth of the country. Determined to further the expansion of Ice Gourmet, they opened their first shop at Tróia Resort in 2009.

In 2013, Ice Gourmet opened a shop in Lisbon, at the Gonçalo Ribeiro Teles interpretive centre.

Artisanal ice cream cone. Ice Gourmet

Artisanal ice cream © Ice Gourmet


Artisanal approach

Ice Gourmet’s magic not only lies in the endearing story of its founder and her family, but in the ethos behind their products. In a small factory in Alhandra the production process is carefully controlled, from the delivery of their raw ingredients to the final distribution. Using state-of-the-art machinery, each ice cream is put through a production process that ensures the utmost freshness and quality.

What really makes Ice Gourmet stand out however is their artisanal approach and the use of natural produce, much of it organic. The sheer variety of flavours on offer is impressive: fresh vanilla, carob, fig loaf, aromatic herbs, spices, eucalyptus and fresh fruit ice cream are just the tip of the iceberg. What’s more, collaborations with some of Portugal’s finest chefs have led to the creation of unique combinations that awaken the senses.

Rose ice cream by Ice Gourmet. Lisbon

Rose ice cream © Ice Gourmet


The art of ice-cream making

With an impressive professional career behind her, Santos has dedicated her life to creating ice cream. From her beginnings in the family pastry business to her studies in Lyon, France, and her training with renowned master ice-cream makers, Santos has demonstrated that ice cream is more than just a profession, it’s a passion. 

For Santos, creating ice cream is an art form. Her commitment to innovation and authenticity means she is constantly on the lookout for innovative, genuine products. Not only does Ice Gourmet offer an impressive selection of flavours, it also ensures that all its ingredients undergo strict quality control.

Ice Gourmet has left an indelible mark on Portugal’s ice cream world. With its fresh, passionate and artisanal approach, Santos has made her dream into a delight for the senses. Each spoonful of Ice Gourmet tells a story of tradition, creativity and dedication that resonates on the palettes of ice cream connoisseurs all over Portugal.

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