Nicole Emson was born in Texas 1973 and was during her childhood nicknamed StikkiNikki due to her long and skinny legs. As a pastry chef trained at Cordon Bleu in Paris she has a wide ranging background in desserts, pastries and sweets. Previous experiences include pastry chef at luxury resorts in the Caribbean, private chef on the French Riviera, gelato maker at small gelaterias all round the South of Italy, and a couple of businesses of her own doing among other things speciality wedding cakes and cute cookies. She lived in Taiwan for some time and moved to Sweden in 2007. 6 months at Vetekatten, one of Swedens oldest and most prestigious pastry bakery/pastry shops, taught her what Swedes like.
Since starting StikkiNikki in 2008 Nicole has written a cookbook on ice cream, appeared on several TV and radio shows and figured in many many articles and interviews in the press on topics relating to cooking and ice cream.
Nikki has always been particular about what she eats herself, and what she cooks for others. The world today is full of food that has been sweetened, and contains unhealthy chemicals and all kinds of bad stuff. And usually it is even hard to find what is in the food we buy in the first place. According to Nikki there is often too much focus on size, profitability and marketing – too little on quality, friendliness and quality. Quality of food, quality of service and quality of life. Nikki wants to run a personal business with something extra, operated by the owner herself.
StikkiNikki make their own gelato fresh every morning in our shop on Götgatan 46. This is the heart of the business and what we aim to do better than anyone else. Better meaning not only tastier but also healthier. Healthiness is a relative concept when talking about sweets, but with less fat, less cream, less sugar and using only organic ingredients and no chemicals or additives whatsoever we believe we have a unique product. Normally we do not even use stabilizers to make us able to store the gelato in freezers for weeks or months as we rather make it fresh every day.
We use organic ingredients as far as possible. Its is not always possible – sometimes we need products that we have not been able to find organic – but we keep looking. For our vanilla gelato Nikki imports vanilla beans herself that we scrape by hand and soak for many weeks in traditional Swedish firewater to make our vanilla extract in the right way – something our customers can watch taste and smell when visiting our locations. Rum raisin ice cream is made out of ecological raisins from the antrosophers in Järna (Saltå Kvarn) but for rum we go un-organic with old trusted Captain Morgan. Our honey is made by a friend of the family who has two hives in Stockholm and our chilis are grown on the balcony of one of our regular customers. And so on.
2008 we bought a kiosk by the water in Stockholm on a whim. Nikki started making ice cream and organic lunches in the 120 square foot kiosk and very quickly got a following of very loyal customers and many positive reviews in the press and on blogs. We expanded to our location on Götgatan and moved production there in 2011 and have continued to expand slowly and carefully since. 2015 we opened a small store on St Eriksplan and the stores on Stora Nygatan and Nybrogatan opened the following year. Lövängsgatan and Hornsbergs Strand are opening in 2017.
Today we have eight stores around Stockholm. We produce all ice cream at Götgatan and have a kitchen on Mariatorget where everything that goes into the gelato is made; stuff like caramel, fudge, cookie dough, roasted coconut chips and much more. Some days we make almost 1.000 liters of gelato which actually makes us one of the bigger ice cream manufacturers in Sweden. But we are very careful – we sell all gelato in our own stores to ensure quality all the way into the mouth of the customer. And we never want to grow too big or impersonal. We want the business to enhance our quality of life as individuals and owners, not consume it.
I make ice cream. I like making ice cream.
My ice cream is not like all other ice creams. It is made by an actual person, with lots of love.
It is my personal pledge to do my part to make an ice cream that supports fair trade and ecological products, and to feed you, my fanatical ice cream friends, an ice cream with no additives, preservatives or other disgusting chemicals.
My business mission is to grow in a sustainable manner, clawing my way up in a world of corporate evil money-grubbers, and never ever compromise quality.
My personal mission is to have as much fun as possible before I die.
Any more missions are too many missions.