Artisan frozen treats carried to the extreme at Proper Ice Cream in Delray Beach

Coffee and donuts ice cream in a dark chocolate cone

House-made, creamy, dense treats in exotic flavors with wacky toppings and off-center cones are the specialties at two shops operated by lawyer-turned-dessert-chef Rick Felberbaum

Proper Ice Cream, with two locations in Delray Beach, offers artisan ice cream carried to the nth degree.

The offerings at these establishments, one Downtown, next to the iPic Theater, and the other in an industrial strip on Commerce Avenue north of Lake Ida Road, are creamy, densely textured, richly flavored treats available in a variety of off-centered flavors (in addition to the usual vanilla and chocolate). There are also sorbets, and for those who follow a vegan lifestyle, non-dairy choices. Proper’s small-batch products are made with entirely natural ingredients, 20 percent less sugars than standard recipes, and zero additives. The result is a custard-like mouth feel to Proper’s ice cream.

The toppings are equally wacky. They’re not what you’d find at your local Baskin Robbins. Proper’s cones come from The Konery, a Brooklyn, NY, industry supplier, and these conical wafers, too, come in exotic flavors, among them lavender, matcha (powdered green tea), pink vanilla, salted blue corn and red velvet.But be warned. Artisan ice cream doesn’t come cheap.

Inside Proper Ice Cream East. Rick Felberbaum in the center

“When I was a kid, an ice cream cone cost a nickel,” remarked my nonagenarian mother-in-law, whose jaw dropped when she saw Proper’s prices during a visit. A single scoop in a cup is $6 while a double-scoop cone costs $9.75. Pints cost $9.99. Add an additional $1.50 for an exotic-flavored cone and, of course, more for toppings. Sundaes will set you back $12.50

Even so, the prices really aren’t more than you’d pay for dessert at a fine-dining restaurant and, these, definitely, are more interesting. Indeed, Proper’s ice creams are on the menu at such fine-dining establishments as Buccan, Grato and Imoto in Palm Beach, Benny’s on the Beach in Lake Worth and 1000 North restaurant, NBA superstar Michael Jordan’s eatery in Jupiter.

The varied waffle cone selection

The Commerce Avenue spot is primarily a manufacturing site, but there’s a counter near the front door, a blackboard on the wall and a coterie of young women who run to the freezer in back to fetch you samples and your order. There are chairs and picnic tables in the parking lot. The inside walls are decorated graffiti style.

Proper Ice Cream East, as the Downtown location is called, is a small, stand-alone building adjacent to the recently opened iPic theater and it, too, is decorated inside with graffiti-style artwork. There are a few high-top stools next to the door.

Behind Proper Ice Cream is Rick Felberbaum, who after many years of practicing law in New York and Florida, decided to turn his passion for crafting ice cream into reality. He attended classes on ice-cream making at Penn State University, famous for its Berkey Creamery, and then spent time training with several gelato chefs around the world, learning their multi-generational secrets to flavors, pairings, and textures.

Felberbaum also got an opportunityto work in the kitchen at Buccan, where he was exposed to the quick pace of a commercial kitchen and where he worked alongside James Beard Award-winning chefs and was challenged to create new twists on traditional flavors and pairings.

Toasted merengue topping on a scoop of vanilla fudge

Indeed, the ice creams on offer at Proper, which opened in mid-2018, aren’t quite Baskin Robbins’ 31 flavors, but the choices can make you dizzy, nonetheless.  The flavors at Proper lean to the exotic and include, among others, key lime pie, pistachio with caramelized figs, honeycomb glazed donut, strawberry biscuits and cream, cheesecake, rum raisin, bread pudding, coffee and donuts, blueberry muffin, butterscotch, brownie black sesame, olive oil and rosemary, and mocha chip. Of course, there’s chocolate and vanilla, the former made with Valrhonachocolate. The pistachio with figs is eye opening, while the coffee and donuts scoop is dominated by a rich coffee flavor.

Proper also offers such sorbet flavors as raspberry, guanabana, blood orange, pink grapefruit, tangerine and lemon. His non-dairy choices include chocolate, strawberry, cookies n cream, golden milk, pistachio and chocolate cookies ‘n cream.

Whatever you chose, these are perfect for a warm mid-afternoon snack, or a treat after a movie next door, or even as dessert following dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Proper Ice Cream

1445 N. Congress Ave., Suite 4, Delray Beach, FL




Proper Ice Cream East

75 SE 4thAve., Delray Beach, FL


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