BURLINGAME (KPIX 5) — For fans of San Francisco’s iconic It’s It ice cream sandwich, a new flavor is a big deal.
For decades, there were only four — classic vanilla (the best seller) plus mint (No. 2), cappuccino and chocolate.
A couple years ago It’s It added strawberry and pumpkin which, unlike Starbucks, isn’t limited to the autumn season. You can buy pumpkin at the It’s It factory shop in Burlingame year-round.
Now, they’ve added green tea, which quickly became so popular on social media ( hashtag #ITSITSeven ) there was no need to advertise. In the digital age, it seems, this delicious Bay Area treat — older even than the Golden Gate Bridge — pretty much sells itself.
It’s It originated in 1928 at San Francisco’s long-gone Playland at the Beach amusement park along Ocean Beach below the Cliff House.
After Playland was torn down in the seventies, patriarch Charles Shamieh couldn’t stand to see It’s It disappear. So he bought the trademark and launched It’s It 2.0 two years later.
Now, the Shamiehs run a wildly-successful family business and expect to sell more than 18 million It’s Its in 2016.
The secret to success? Charles Shamieh says it’s partly the old-fashion way they make ice cream.
“It is harder, it’s more expensive, but the quality is a lot better than the other products,” he said.
More importantly, Shamieh says it’s the loyal fan base — generation after generation — that It’s It can thank for its success.
A few years ago the company expanded to make It’s It available nationwide, although the new green tea flavor isn’t being shipped outside the state quite yet.