The best ice-cream startups
Can you feel the summer? The air is warm and slightly sticky, like an over-packed tube ride. There’s the scent of hot concrete and cut grass drifting lazily. The sound of clinking pint glasses and raised voices in beer gardens all over the capital never seems to cease. Summer in London is when the city really comes alive, and there is a definite sense of positive vibes hanging in the air. With the dramatic spike in temperatures helped along by a veil of pollution, highly reflective buildings and sweaty public transport, there is a definite need for something ice-cold, melting slowly and running down your wrist.
Luckily there’s a startup for that! Or quite a few startups, actually. At BrighterBox, we love to try new foodie brands and definitely find them the easiest to recruit for – who wouldn’t want to help test new flavours and launch events based around eating yummy treats? In honour of the summer we have collated a list of our favourite brands delivering frozen salvation to the sweltering masses:
Oppo has been a darling of the startup world for a few years now, and for good reason. They produce healthy ice-cream made with unusual ingredients such as BaoBab, Maca and Lucuma. The real winner with Oppo is that you can eat the whole tub in one sitting without feeling guilty – there are under 45 calories per scoop!
The Miami beach fever is bearing down upon us, and there is no way to avoid it. Instead, just embrace it. LIC are fully supporting the trend with frozen lollypop cocktails of the rum-based variety. Picture it…a hot day, a sizzling barbeque, your mate hands you something cold and refreshing and as you lick it, you taste the warm undercurrent of rum. Ideal, right?
If you’ve ever wanted something truly indulgent, that has that satisfying crack as you bite into a chocolate coating, then you need MiiRO ice-creams in your life. These aren’t just your run-of-the-mill blobs of frozen dairy on a stick though, these are vegan, gluten-free and without refined-sugar. So, if you overindulged earlier in the day then you can still have a cheeky ice-cream.
4. Little Moons
Little Moons are bringing an unusual ingredient from Japan to the English table – mochi. Mochi is a gelatinous rice paste that can be moulded to form a casing for little balls of sweet ice-cream. If you want to try something a little different and explore the culinary delights from another culture, then Little Moons is a great brand to start with!
Sometimes the best ideas come from surprising places. Howard Wong relates how Little Moons came about:
“The inspiration behind Little Moons was to bring Japan's best kept secret to the UK. When my sister/co-founder and I first tried mochi ice cream, we fell in love with the strange but amazing combination of tastes and textures. With the growing popularity of Japanese cuisine, we knew it had potential to do well in UK and eventually plucked up the courage to take the plunge and start a business making them.”
Another brand that’s brought a trend from Asia to the UK is Pan-n-Ice. While drunk in Thailand the two founders came across a new way of serving ice-cream – mixed and frozen in front of your eyes. They came back and replicated the process with great success, and are now one of the most fashionable foodie brands to have at your event (it certainly helps that their scrolls of ice-cream and toppings are highly Instagramable!).
Their whirlwind story is really inspiring to any newbie entrepreneurs – just get out there and do it! Here’s what the founders had to say:
“Co-founders Henry Milroy and Rob Huysinga discovered flash freeze ice cream when backpacking around Thailand at age 20. Immediately in awe, they wanted to come back to the UK and spread fun, flavour and positivity through their theatrical ice cream rolls. Both Rob and Henry always wanted to start their own business as opposed to working within someone else's firm, and this was a great opportunity to create something from nothing. Two years down the line, Pan-n-Ice is in Westfield, Topshop and Selfridges, and will be opening up in many other locations (not just in the U.K.) in the next few years!”
6. Ice Kitchen
Handmade ice lollies that look like classics straight out of your childhood, but with a revamped taste profile. These are gourmet lollies that have won taste awards thanks to premium ingredients (and nothing artificial). They have even released a book, so you can buy yourself a lolly mould, mix up some frozen concoctions at home and hand out to greedy children (or adults) after dinner.
7. Claudi & Fin
These Greek yoghurt popsicles are for little ones to eat without their parents worrying about filling them with rubbish. Made only with natural ingredients and coming in two carefully chosen flavours, these lollies are the ideal treat for kids, or anyone who doesn’t want to ruin their waistline this summer.
8. Whey Hey!
Gym buff? Still want to eat ice-cream? Whey Hey is a high protein ice-cream without refined sugar, created to allow those that love their health and fitness an excuse to indulge. Since it’s summer (and everyone suddenly joins the gym during summer) this is a very clever tactic to allow gym goers the chance to experience sweet bliss from time-to-time, as well as everyone who couldn’t care less about having visible abs.
If you eschew dairy, then you will want to get yourself a pint of Nobó. They use a blend of coconut milk and avocado to get the creamiest texture you will ever find in dairy-free ice-cream. Their fresh lemon flavour is award-winning and requires hundreds of hand-squeezed lemons to get the perfect zesty burst of flavour.
If you haven’t tried Jude’s salted caramel flavour then where have you been? It literally comes in mini-tubs, so you don’t even have to share. This stuff is the real deal – proper old-fashioned ice-cream from an idyllic-looking farm in Hampshire. Do yourself a favour and grab a tub on your next trip to the supermarket.
When it comes to building a startup, the team is everything. Jude has evolved from a simple dairy farm into a successful business, so they know this better than anyone:
“To craft brilliant ice cream, you need happy people. They’re one of the most important ingredients. It’s always best when things happen naturally. Our founder was soon joined by his sons, their best friend and plenty more brilliant people. We’re proud of the whole Jude’s family and love seeing it grow. We work hard together, have fun together and celebrate a job well done together.”