Meet Your Maker | Outstanding Producer Profile
Wellington-based outstanding producer Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery is celebrating the launch of Superfood, an innovative range of cashew-based ice cream. This collection of three rich, creamy flavours has been crafted with scientific precision—and a dash of whimsy—to please dairy and non-dairy food lovers alike.
Are you tired of everything vegan tasting like coconut? Co-founders Sharon Galeon and Midori Willoughby wanted the non-dairy consumer to have an ‘ice cream experience’ that didn’t involve a coconut taste – this was ‘absolutely one of our top priorities when making the ice cream’.
Their second inspiration was for reasons closer to home. Midori has a mixed dairy and non-dairy household, and it’s challenging to find a single ice cream the family can enjoy together.
With this challenge in mind, Sharon and Midori’s goal was “To give the dairy consumer the experience of eating ice cream and not feel like they’re sacrificing anything for a couple of people in the household who can’t have dairy. And, of course, to make it fun—we always want to make fun flavours!”
Before heading to Wooden Spoon Labs, the duo also decided to steer away from using additives and relying on a coconut base, two practices that are common among non-dairy ice creams today. After a bit of research, they decided on cashews.
Cashews are great, because their flavor is really neutral and they’re extremely creamy.
Sharon and Midori donned their lab coats and trusty wooden spoons (in my mind, anyway), determined to design New Zealand’s first additive-free, dairy-free, not overwhelmingly coconutty, delicious, and don’t-forget-fun, ice cream …made with cashew mylk.
After whizzing the cashews, you have a really, really thick base. In Sharon’s words, “It’s not something you’d want to pour on your cereal!” So how do you go from a super thick ‘mylkshake’ to delicious frozen ice cream? After speaking with Sharon, we’re convinced that she’s an expert in freeze craft. It’s an enormous challenge to find the right balance of fats, sugars, and cashew mylk without relying on shortcuts like additives—or a recipe!
It was really tricky. Ice cream is challenging, there’s a lot of science behind how it works and how to get it right. With dairy ice cream, there’s sort of a template in a way, and you can tweak it with a little bit of research. But with the cashew base, it was really a lot of trial and error.
The hard work has certainly paid off! Early response to the Superfood range has been overwhelmingly and enthusiastically positive. You can also expect the addition of new flavours to the Superfood range, including collaborations with other Wellington producers (see Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery + Fix & Fogg Collaboration).
Perpetually looking to the future, Sharon promises, “We’re already coming up with ideas for the next flavour!”
Learn more about Wooden Spoon on their website at woodenspoonfreezery.com and by following @WoodenSpoonFreezery on Instagram and @WoodenSpoonNZ on Facebook and Twitter.
Wooden Spoon’s SUPERFOOD dairy-free/vegan range is now available nationally at select New Worlds, Moore Wilson’s, Farro, and Countdown stores. RRP is $11.49.
WOODEN SPOON BOUTIQUE FREEZERY OUTSTANDING AWARDS
2018 Gold Medal, Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery, Ca Phe Da
2018 Silver Medal, Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery, Chocolate-Covered Banana
2017 Outstanding Producer Dairy (Crafted) Finalist, Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery, Movie Night