Paradis: A little bit of paradise

Paradis is on a mission to change the way Claremonters enjoy coffee and ice cream.

The Danish franchise officially opened its Claremont location on December 2. The gelato/coffee spot, run by franchise owners Jose Ramirez and Stanley Soebianto, is another addition to the Claremont business landscape.

“It’s been really good so far,” Mr. Soebianto said. “We have a lot of regulars now. Overall, people have been very engaged and happy we’re here.”

The café specializes in “Danish-style” gelato, which is made every day in-house and features a daily rotation of 100 different flavors and around 40 vegan-friendly sorbets. The luxurious flavors include almond chocolate chip, banana nociella, forest berry pavlova, Sicilian pistachio de Bronte and Oreo cherry cheesecake.

While the ice cream is light and airy like gelato, it isn’t technically gelato in the classic sense due to the amount of ingredients and fat percentage, Mr. Ramirez said. But the taste is unmistakable.

“It really melts in your mouth. It’s an amazing experience,” he said.

Paradis began in Denmark in 2005, and after achieving success in their native country began to branch out into America with their first stateside location in Montrose in 2009. There are now 10 locations across Southern California, including Pasadena, Sherman Oaks and Monrovia.

Mr. Soebianto, who has a background in coffee exporting from Indonesia and Brazil, was initially hesitant about running a franchise, until he met the people behind Paradis. What struck him most was how open they were to different concepts.

“I told [the CEO], if you let me do my coffee program the way I should see fit with the ice cream, I think we’ll have something to talk about,” Mr. Soebianto said.

Mr. Soebianto pitched the idea of a micro coffee roaster to complement the ice cream, and the deal was sealed. He enlisted local roaster Klatch Coffee to supply the product.

Mr. Ramirez, a former Claremont resident who now lives in Upland, introduced the idea of opening a location in the City of Trees.

“My family would ride our bikes over here and eat and hang out and go to the movies,” he said. “So, we started coming and observing the people and the traffic and the patterns, and we were like, ‘This is a really nice community,’”

Walking into the Claremont Paradis location and you’ll get a sense of what Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Soebianto want to bring. A neon sign that says, “Scooped up Claremont” beckons patrons inside, board games line the left shelf and a television displays Instagram posts taken at the café.

Mr. Ramirez likens the atmosphere to a high-end, “hipster” coffee and ice cream shop in Los Angeles brought right here to Claremont.

“I think that’s the difference we bring,” Mr. Ramirez said. “This is a cool, hipster spot that you can find in Downtown LA, but it’s owned by two local people who are involved in the community too.”

But the most interesting contraption at the café, one that sets Paradis apart from the other coffee and ice cream shops in Claremont, is the Ripples machine.

The concept is simple: you download the Ripples app, choose a picture of whatever or whoever you want—your friends, your pet or yourself—and upload the picture to the machine. The machine then prints the image into the foam of your latte.

Mr. Soebianto calls them “Selfie-ccinos.”

The machine is the first of its kind in Claremont, and one of only three currently in operation in southern California. Mr. Ramirez noted that one customer came from as far as Irvine to see the machine in action.

“Customers put pictures of their family, their baby, their dogs,” Mr. Soebianto said. “I’ve seen a cat on there named Meatball. Just to see that reaction, that’s great.”

Another aspect that could set Paradis apart is education and community involvement. Mr. Soebianto wants to teach Claremonters about what goes on behind the scenes in exporting coffee from different countries, which he aims to do through charity events or workshops.

“We want to bring the education and awareness to the folks,” Mr. Soebianto said. “We’re excited to be part of that, excited to have good products to offer and a good knowledge base.”

Paradis is located at 1 Indian Hill Boulevard, Suite 101, at the former site of Ecoterra. Call them up at (909) 445-0035.

Matthew Bramlett

Original Article: https://www.claremont-courier.com/articles/news/t26245-paradis