Even on a rainy, cold night, Saffron & Rose will undeniably brighten anyone's mood and satisfy anyone's ice cream craving. It is Westwood's oldest ice cream shop, and it has an interesting history.

Siri Potluri

How The Shop Started

Although we all believe that Thomas Jefferson was the one who introduced ice cream to the world (sorry y'all, he only brought the recipe to America), the technique Saffron & Rose uses to make its unique Persian dessert dates back to 500 BC. Before refrigerators and liquid nitrogen, people of the Persian Empire used a dome shaped structure to cool the liquid milk and make the ice cream we know and love today.

Iran desert, yakh-chal (ىخ چال en persan) - glacière

Jeanne Menjoulet on Flickr

Farbod "Freddy" Papen continues to share this thousand year old recipe with LA through Saffron & Rose. His grandfather brought the whole family to the US in the mid-1970s where his son (Freddy's uncle) was attending school. They later moved to LA and opened an ice cream shop in a small grocery store with only three flavors: falooda, saffron, and white rose. During this time, the Iran revolution caused a large number of Persians to immigrate into LA, which led to the growth of Little Persia in Westwood. The shop began to rise in popularity among the Persian population, and the family moved their store to a more accessible place.

Papen wanted to expand Saffron & Rose's customers to all people of LA, not just Persians. He used marketing to spread word of his shop to a wider variety of customers, and it is now one of the trendiest places to get ice cream among UCLA students.  

Siri Potluri

The Secret Recipe

So what's the secret recipe of the ice cream? Why do you immediately close your eyes and savor the delicious flavor after you take a bite? We may never know the secret base that Saffron & Rose uses to make its unique flavor. Unlike American and Italian ice cream, Persian ice cream uses liquid milk, which makes the ice cream stretchy and even more delicious. Papen likes to show this special quality to his new and curious customers by dangling some ice cream from a spoon. Saffron & Rose has expanded their three original flavors to more than 50 other flavors, including cucumber, date and orange blossom.

The history of Saffron & Rose prevails throughout the shop and its uniquely made ice cream. It not only brings the culture of Persia to LA, but also introduces a different type of ice cream for its customers to experience. The next time you visit Saffron & Rose, you can understand the history of the oldest ice cream shop in Westwood as you savor every bite of their stretchy, creamy Persian ice cream.