Introducing San Bernardo
San Bernardo Ice Cream is a family owned and operated business located in South Florida. With more than 150 flavors of ice cream and countless other frozen and bakery desserts, there’s a good chance you’ve tasted San Bernardo Ice Cream without realizing it.
With father and son duo Bob and Jonathan Tammara at the helm, the company re-introduced San Bernardo to the general public in 2014. For the first time in 20 years, San Bernardo ice cream is now available in restaurants, hotels and supermarket chains in almost a dozen states and another half dozen countries, as well as now available for purchase online.
How It All Began
San Bernardo Ice Cream was originally an old Cuban dairy company with almost 100 years of history, before coming to the United States to bring “the old flavors of home” to the throngs of Cubans taking up residence in Miami in the 1950s and 1960s.
San Bernardo Ice Cream became the local scoop shop and mainstay in the community for the original Miami-Cuban community that settled around Flagler and 12th Avenue (known as "La Sagüesera”) - long before there was a Little Havana.
With tropical delights like Mango, Coconut, Mamey, Guanabana, Guava and Anon - San Bernardo served giant cones, monster five-scoop sundaes and seemingly bottomless batidos (Cuban-style milkshakes). Sadly the last of the San Bernardo Scoop Shops closed in the early 1980s – but with the support of a new generation of fans, there are plans to bring them back!
“Talking with a friend from the "old times" we remembered fondly a spot friends gathered back in the early 1970s near Tulane University, San Bernardo Tropical Fruit Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop. Used to love that place. Checking archives at university library was able to view menu. My how times have changed! That's when we noticed company still in business. Is there any place to purchase your products in New Orleans area? Sure would be a smooth touch to taste buds as well as nostalgia.”
Al – New Orleans.
The Tropic Ice Era
In 1971 San Bernardo was acquired by Tropic Ice, then an Italian ice manufacturer in South Florida. Tropic Ice maintained the San Bernardo Ice Cream brand and expanded their product line to include the tropical flavors of ice cream San Bernardo was known for.
The company began manufacturing products at their South Florida facility, where the family-owned company is headquartered now. From there, they quickly expanded beyond Cuban Ice cream to bring specialty ethnic flavors of ice cream and Italian ices to the broader Latin community and eventually throughout the country.
At its height, San Bernardo Ice Cream under Tropic Ice had a retail presence in more than half a dozen states and was in more than 2,000 supermarkets in Florida, New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois (including Publix, Winn Dixie, Albertsons, Pantry Pride, Piggly Wiggly and Grand Union). San Bernardo also operated more than a dozen scoop shops running from South Florida to New Orleans.
The Family Business
In 1979 Bob Tammara started Food Marketing Consultants, Inc. as a food brokerage service to work with Tropic Ice’s sales force in locating new products and increasing distribution. Bob was always a step ahead in spotting food trends. The resulting partnership between Tropic Ice and Food Marketing Consultants was instrumental in helping to introduce a wide variety of specialty and ethnic products to the Florida market place. These products included Zatarans, Chef Paul Cajun Magic, China Bowl, Bookbinders, Dove Bar, Snickers & M&M Ice Cream, Tuscan and Dannon frozen yogurt products and more.
In the early 2000s Bob sold the distribution business to Nestle, but Food Marketing Consultants kept the rights to the San Bernardo Ice Cream label and focused their attention on expanding the brand behind the scenes. For almost two decades San Bernardo Ice Cream has built a global brand in non-traditional food service areas. Dominating the cruise line industry amongst many of their avenues of reach.
As the company has grown and expanded, Bob’s son, Jonathan has grown to take the reins, bringing San Bernardo Ice Cream back to supermarket shelves with cleaner, healthier, tastier, exciting new products that challenge other traditional luxury brands. But don’t take our word for it….try it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!