“Sugar & Salt Uptown MPLS,” reads the new sign above the door at 3146 Hennepin Ave. S. Directly below it, another sign reads, “The Home of La La Ice Cream.”

“So people know it hasn’t gone away,” said owner Jennifer Lisburg. “Don’t freak out!”

Liam McDuffies holds a favorite menu item from La La Ice Cream, an ice cream cone dipped in sprinkles. Photo by Melody Hoffmann

La La Ice Cream has become Sugar & Salt, rebranding to emphasize its in-house food options.

Lisburg said she had been thinking about a rebrand for a while. Then, one day, a comment from a customer caught her off guard.

“A regular customer for seven years said, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize you had food here,’” Lisburg said.

La La Ice Cream’s first iteration came in 1993. Lisburg said that after taking time off work after her third child was born, she decided she wanted to do something for herself.

Lisburg had worked in food service her whole life, and while she was growing up, ice cream was one of the few sweets allowed in her house. With her experience, an ice cream shop seemed like a natural fit.

After making “some first-time business owner mistakes,” Lisburg closed the first shop after one year. She then moved to northwest Minnesota in 2001, buying a café in 2008 to restart the business.

After her 2015 return to Minneapolis, Lisburg reopened La La Ice Cream in its current location in 2016. Road construction in 2018 and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 created a series of challenges for La La and its owner.

Between those obstacles, however, Lisburg first introduced food to La La at the end of 2019 Since then, Lisburg has thought about a rebrand.

“I felt like I was being chicken,” Lisburg said.

In 2024, being chicken is reserved for Sugar & Salt’s menu items — including the Chili Crisp Chicken Sandwich and take-home Chicken Pot Pie.

Lisburg said she wanted the rebrand to “make it clear this is a place to eat.” Sugar & Salt’s food options aren’t just there to tide over customers between ice cream seasons, they’re made almost entirely in-house with locally sourced organic ingredients.

Those ingredients include rhubarb from a friend’s organic farm, strawberries from a farm in Foley, Minnesota  and eggs, beef and lamb from Unparalleled Farms in Plainview, Minnesota according to Sugar & Salt’s website.

Sugar & Salt’s bacon cheddar burger. Image courtesy of Sugar & Salt

“We make as much as we can here in-house,” Lisburg said. “As corny as it is, the food is made with love. We really, really care.”

That care extends to serving a variety of palates, according to Lisburg. Sugar & Salt has food for picky eaters, like grilled cheese, as well as food for those with adventurous palates, like the cauliflower cutlet sandwich with chimichurri. They have vegetarian and vegan options for both food and dessert.

The dessert menu, which includes traditional ice cream and non-dairy desserts, has been streamlined since the rebrand, Lisburg said. The idea was to guide customers toward the best combinations on the menu.

La La Ice Cream flavors that are non-dairy and accommodating to other nutritional needs, too. Photo by Melody Hoffmann

In addition to Sugar & Salt, La La Ice Cream will be available at farmer’s markets throughout the summer, including the weekly Lake Harriet Minneapolis Park Market, Sundays from 4-8 p.m.

While the Sugar & Salt change brings some uncertainty, Lisburg has invested all of herself into rebrand and is excited for the future.

“This is a little corny, but I’m kind of a corny person,” Lisburg said. “I just feel very good about this change. I feel great about it, it’s like me on a stick.”

Sugar & Salt is located at 3146 Hennepin Ave. S. and is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with brunch available until 2 p.m. and food available until 7 p.m. You can order online for pickup on their website.