The West

Cream of coconuts
Picture: Iain Gillespie

Creating a completely organic vegan ice-cream was part of the brand evolution for Gelare ice-cream founder Farid Torabi, and the results would impress even the most hardened of ice-cream traditionalists.

"To be honest, I didn't know what the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian was when I started the product but one thing I did realise was that there was a definite sector of the dessert market that wasn't being catered for," said Mr Torabi, a former engineer of Iranian descent who established his first Fremantle Gelare ice-creamery in 1987 after immigrating from America.

"In this business, you've got to stay relevant and customer needs have changed too. The vegan ice-cream is an extension of that," he said.

The range, which is available at all 12 metropolitan outlets, includes coconut, cappuccino and chocolate. Mr Torabi went to great lengths with a food technology consultant to ensure the products mimicked the taste of traditional ice-cream as closely as possible, with coconut milk used as the base ingredient.

"Every single ingredient is organic, which makes the product quite costly to produce and it's the reason why our flavours are limited," he said of the range which includes ingredients such as organic agave and chocolate, and Fair Trade vanilla extract. "Because the base is coconut milk, it's important that the flavours complement that. We are working on a salted caramel flavour, but getting it to mask the coconut milk is a challenge. If it doesn't taste right, we won't make it."

Vegans are not the only people celebrating the range.

"We've had really positive emails from mums with allergy-prone children, or people who have allergies to eggs or dairy," he said.

"We also make vegan smoothies, like our Pina Colada which is made with the coconut ice-cream."

The range comes in 474ml take-away tubs ($10.90), or can be enjoyed by the scoop ($5 for one or $7 for two).

The West Australian

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