We Wanna Be Friends With Three Twins Ice Cream Founder Neal Gottlieb

We Wanna Be Friends With Three Twins Ice Cream Founder Neal Gottlieb


Our city is chock-full of interesting people and wild personalities. Overwhelmed by the coolness? Every week we'll pick one standout local we'd love to be friends with to answer seven essential questions about their life in San Francisco.

Three Twins Ice Cream founder Neal Gottlieb is dishing out new, sweet reasons to clear out the freezer. In 2005, he was the company’s only employee. Armed with no ice cream-making experience he opened a remote storefront in San Rafael.

Fast forward to 2010, when Three Twins opened a 4,200-square-foot ice cream factory in Petaluma. Today, there are half a dozen scoop shops in and around San Francisco, (including the newly reopened location in the Lower Haight) and Three Twins is the largest dedicated organic ice cream factory in the United States. Even cooler, all milk, cream and eggs are sourced from farms within 17 miles of the Sonoma County factory.

There are three new flavors to tempt your sweet tooth; Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Brownie Batter Chunk, and Land of Milk and Honey. If just the thought doesn’t already have you on a joyous sugar high, Three Twins Fair Trade Certified Vanilla Ice Cream Wafer Sandwiches are set to debut this summer.

All that frozen sweetness needs room to churn. Gottlieb is gearing up to open an ice cream factory this summer in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Thanks Neal for taking the time to answer our We Wanna Be Friends With Q&A!

1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?

San Francisco Bay. I live on a small houseboat in Sausalito and absolutely love it. If you stay away from the touristy side, Sausalito is really a small, salty and wonderful town with some great local spots. 

2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?

The seafood chowder at Bar Crudo is better than anything else that has ever been made anywhere.

3. What's your perfect night on the town?

The perfect night starts with taking the ferry from Marin and enjoying a Lagunitas IPA as the sun sets through the Golden Gate. A pre-dinner drink would be in order, which I love to have at Magnolia for some great ales or at Alembic for equally great cocktails. Next, it's over to my go to restaurant, Nob Hill Grille, which has well-curated dining selections ranging from some of the best Brussels sprouts anywhere, hearty short ribs, and a burger menu that often proves irresistible. I would round out my night with some gypsy steampunk folk act at Amnesia and rest my head at one of the entirely lovable Kimpton hotels.

4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time?

In the rare instances that I'm not in the office or on a plane, in the afternoon I like to climb at Planet Granite. The stresses of the day are hard to remember when you are focused on getting up a route. 

5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?

West Marin is my go to for a day of escapism. I love to drive through the redwoods of Samuel P. Taylor Park, stop at Toby's Feed Barn in Point Reyes Station for a coffee and then go to my secret mushroom spot to prance around in the woods, whether or not there are any mushrooms to be had. On the way back I like to have a drink at the Old Western and possibly a meal at any of a number of great, local spots.

6. Quick-fire round:

Burrito or Burger?


Presidio or Golden Gate Park?

Presidio. I used to live there.

BiRite or Mitchell's?

Three Twins Ice Cream, duh.

Bike or MUNI?


Fort Mason or Dolores Park?


The Independent or the Fillmore?

The Fillmore

Baker Beach or Ocean Beach?

Ocean Beach

8. Three words that describe your life in the Bay Area?

Inconceivable, incorrigible, happy.

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