Lawyer-turned-ice cream maker to open artisan shop on ‘ghost town’ Boca strip


BOCA RATON — Rick Felberbaum was tired of being a lawyer, and even more tired of leaving Boca Raton to find a good scoop of ice cream. 

So over a year ago, he killed two birds with one stone. 

He shut down his real estate law firm on Palmetto Park Road in downtown Boca Raton, and started on plans to open in its place an artisanal ice cream shop.

“I just said to my wife one night, ‘I just want to get some ice cream in Boca.’ But there was none,” Felberbaum said. “I thought it would be neat if I took my real estate brokerage and law firm and just fire everyone, which I did, and just start making ice cream.” 

Felberbaum got permission from the Boca Raton city council Monday to transform his office space, at 310 E. Palmetto Park Road, into Rickey’s Proper Ice Cream. With sliding glass doors to welcome pedestrians along Palmetto Park, the shop will sit in the shadow of Palmetto Promenade, a 378-unit apartment, townhouse and retail complex stretching three blocks across the street on Palmetto Park Road. 

Right now, that stretch of downtown Boca Raton is a “ghost town,” Felberbaum said. 

An ice cream shop with fresh roast coffee and baked goods will capture some foot traffic expected along Palmetto Park Road with coming development. 

“That particular stretch of Palmetto Park Road is empty after 5 p.m.,” he said.

There are a handful of ice cream chains in Boca Raton, but none on East Palmetto Park Road until you reach the barrier island. 

And Rickey’s won’t be your typical ice cream shop. Felberbaum creates strange and interesting flavors, such as lemon poppy seed, orange saffron, vegan pistachio with honeycomb, white sesame, toasted Japanese black sesame, roasted fig and blackberry and more. 

It isn’t clear yet when the ice cream shop will open. It could take months to secure the needed city permits. 

But Felberbaum is making ice cream in the meantime. His artisan ice cream is sold at popular Palm Beach County eateries, such as Buccan in Palm Beach and 1000 NORTH, the new waterfront restaurant partly owned by NBA star Michael Jordan.


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