We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexis Negranti and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexis, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking – I believe it’s all how you perceive risk. Is it risky to move forward, pursue the idea, jump in? Or more risky to be stagnant? I have always been of the mentality of ‘just go for it’ (for better or worse!), and I’ve told myself from the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey that I can always find ways to make money… the risk isn’t starting a business, the big risk would be wishing I had. When I had the idea to start a sheep dairy and make ice cream from the milk (the first in the USA to make sheep’s milk ice cream!) everyone around me thought I was crazy; they thought it was ‘risky’ because it hadn’t been done here before. I pursued the idea anyway; here I am nearly 11 years later with three scoop shops, a licensing deal, and wholesale accounts. What others perceived as risk, I saw as an opportunity.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I own Negranti Creamery – here’s how we got our start: In December 2010 I had thought of a way to marry my love of animals and passion for yummy, quality food…I was going to leave my desk job, start a sheep dairy, and make ice cream from the milk! Everyone thought I had lost my mind as no one had made sheep’s milk ice cream in the USA before. None the less, a month after I had this idea, my husband Wade and I drove 18 hours to pick up our starter flock. Neither one of us had milked an animal before, and for the first time ever, we milked our ewes in 2011.
I chose sheep’s milk for its health benefits and milk quality. Sheep’s milk contains more than double the amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals than cow’s milk. Sheep’s milk also contains the A2 protein, making it much easier to digest than traditional dairy! We source the cleanest, freshest ingredients possible. My goal has always been to craft an ice cream I feel good about giving my family.
Today, we have expanded into grocery markets and restaurants. In 2017 I opened our first scoop shop in Tin City, Paso Robles! The scoop shop proved to be a special way to ‘scoop joy’, connect with guests, and provide a place for friends and families to connect and celebrate. We now have three scoop shops on the Central Coast, and a scoop shop in Boise ID.
We continue to be a family owned and operated business; we value quality, community and family; family is at the heart of everything the creamery does! We are now looking to expand into the East Coast markets and look forward to what lies ahead!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
So many great things to do in Paso Robles! Here are my must-dos!
Stay at the BarnHouse Paso Robles (this is actually my airbnb – a barn on our property that is now a vacation rental! it’s surrounded by vineyards and conveniently located near wineries and only 10 min from town!)
For cocktails I recommend The Hatch downtown Paso Robles – seriously the best in town! For the best margarita visit Fish Gaucho!
For wines – don’t make me choose, we have so many great wineries here on the Central Coast! I love LEVO (located next to our Tin City scoop shop – his wines are award winning, a little ‘hidden gem!’). I also love Rava Winery, they have the most beautiful patio, delicious bites, and wonderful sparkling wines! J Dusi has a great patio, delicious wines, and is super family friendly – bring a picnic and enjoy the laidback wine country experience!
For dinner – I love BL, beautiful classic French fare with an in house sommelier. The Range in Santa Margarita is another favorite – they have the most wonderful elk medallions and fresh, locally sourced cheeses and vegetables. For a very local vibe, hit up the Long Branch is Creston – it’s casual, delicious, family friendly, and everything you could hope for in a local barbecue joint!
Dessert – our scoop shops! Come enjoy fresh sheep’s milk ice cream, delicious seasonal flavors! Must try our fresh waffles cones and our oat milk ice cream shakes!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Why shoutout goes to my husband, Wade. He has stood by me and my wild idea to start a sheep dairy and make ice cream from the milk. He drove 18 hours to pick up my first three sheep, he’s milked sheep with me a 4:30 AM – then gone off to his day job, repaired our ice cream truck countless times, and lifted me up when I was down over the last 11 years!