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Food & Drink

The Chain We Wouldn't Object to If It Conquered the World 

Smitten Ice Cream

San Francisco's formula-retail law bans companies with more than 11 locations worldwide from setting up shop in certain neighborhoods. Sooner or later, a homegrown chain is going to bump against this ordinance from the other side on its way to global domination, and we wouldn't be the least bit upset if that chain were Smitten Ice Cream. (It's already close: By summer, there will be 10 in all, of which four will be in S.F. proper.) Apart from the appealing backstory — founder Robyn Sue Fisher started out of a Radio Flyer — and the liquid nitrogen cooling mechanism, it's the extraordinary, unrivaled creaminess to Smitten's flavors that makes it so unique. Mint chip, strawberry white balsamic, crème fraîche with pear caramel — we love them all. If Smitten ever opened 10,000 locations, purchased Google from Alphabet, and turned Walmart into a wholly owned subsidiary, we wouldn't complain one bit.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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