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View Full Version : Vegan Gelato and/or other stall ideas



Lentils
May 9th, 2012, 02:59 AM
Hello

As my search for a job hasn't been going too well (1 month so far and not even an interview!) I started considering alternative means of making a living, one of my ideas was to rent a stall at the local market and sell vegan gelato there - marketted of course as "healthy alternative to ice cream" with just a small "suitable for vegans" label somewhere.

Anyway, as odd as this sounds I've never actually tried gelato nor have I tried any kind of veganised ice cream products for that matter so this is where you come in.

Firstly: Do you think that there's any chance of success? Would you buy one if you were passing through the market? Do you think any omnis would be interested by the health aspect or just put off by the lack of dairy?

Secondly: Do you have any ideas where I could find good recipes, or ways of emulating what happens inside a 'gelato maker' without having to buy one first? I don't mind investing a bit, as long as I know that I'll be able to produce a good product!

Thirdly: Any other ideas? I really like the idea of having a little vegan friendly stall that fills another niche as to not go out of business - I don't care about making bundles of cash and I'd likely give a percentage of profits to local animal rescues.

edit: Gelato is quite rare here, I'm fairly sure that there's no where to get even 'normal' gelato in the entire city.

Marrers
May 9th, 2012, 04:13 AM
Gelato certainly seems to be taking off recently! But as someone who can't live through winter without ice cream :o it seems very strange to me that someone who has never actually had vegan ice cream would want to set up such a business (you obviously don't have much interest, let alone a passion for iced desserts if you've never tried any at all since going vegan) - how would you know if you had a 'good' product with nothing to compare it to?

You should probably start by take a trip to somewhere which has vegan gelato so you can try some (there are at least 4 places in London now and 3 in Brighton, maybe there are some closer to you too). Perhaps some of the people running them would be willing to give you some advice since you won't be in their area.

Ms Cupcake in London has a Running A Market Stall course so that might also be useful for you to look in to.

Lentils
May 9th, 2012, 04:52 AM
Gelato certainly seems to be taking off recently! But as someone who can't live through winter without ice cream :o it seems very strange to me that someone who has never actually had vegan ice cream would want to set up such a business (you obviously don't have much interest, let alone a passion for iced desserts if you've never tried any at all since going vegan) - how would you know if you had a 'good' product with nothing to compare it to?

You should probably start by take a trip to somewhere which has vegan gelato so you can try some (there are at least 4 places in London now and 3 in Brighton, maybe there are some closer to you too). Perhaps some of the people running them would be willing to give you some advice since you won't be in their area.

Ms Cupcake in London has a Running A Market Stall course so that might also be useful for you to look in to.

Heh you make a good point but I doubt I'd be short of taste testers and I'm actually quite a fan of frozen desserts they are just one of the things that I never tried out after going vegan, mostly due to them seeming to require a specialised machine to make and the commercial options being heavily processed and expensive - still if I'd ever seen a stall offering such things I'd have jumped at the chance.

A trip to Brighton's famed 'Boho Gelato' is on the agenda of course if I do end up going forward with this, it would be like the tastiest 'research' ever I think:D

Cacique
May 9th, 2012, 07:25 AM
I think you have a good idea there if you can get it started. I wish I had more to say, but my recommendation is to replace the milk with nut milks, they get nice and creamy. I haven't made my own, but out of the frozen desserts I've made, the one that blew my mind was a cashew milk ice cream. It was smoother than cow's milk ice cream, it tasted ridiculously delicious, with no overpowering taste of cashew (I had vanilla, so quite plain).

Perhaps there are some recipes you could do with a normal, cheap ice cream maker? I do think that omnivores would be attracted to a healthier treat. Perhaps boast about it's sweetness/creaminess, low in fat, or whatever it ends up as. I would compare it to other gelatos, mention that it has a small list of natural ingredients and all that.

I think, if you want to make sure not to turn anyone off, perhaps saying that it is a healthier alternative to the average frozen dessert instead of just better than cow's milk ice cream/gelato. While some people might not like seeing milk being put down for whatever reason, that way it still says it's a healthier option.

harpy
May 9th, 2012, 10:29 AM
I would probably buy one if I were passing your stall, but it sounds as if it might be a rather capital-intensive thing to do (because of the need to keep it frozen on the stall) in the first instance, so maybe you could think about starting with something easier such as homemade cakes/baked savouries which always seem to sell well?

If you're going to be making any sort of food you probably need to check the local hygiene regulations. There are a few online for various places though I can't see one for Leeds, this is for Harrogate: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=market%20stalls%20making%20food%20for%20sale%20m arket%20hygiene%20sinks%20yorkshire&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CHYQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.harrogate.gov.uk%2FDocuments% 2FJune%25202011%2520-%2520Food%2520safety%2520advice%2520for%2520market s.doc&ei=symqT9KRH5HV4QTHsI2lCQ&usg=AFQjCNG8sCZ8bySI5zhP8YP7WQWpSP6_Gg (See 5. MANUFACTURING FOOD AT HOME FOR SALE FROM YOUR MARKET STALL)

It does sound a bit of a hassle but it must be possible as other people have done it with great success, like the aforementioned Ms Cupcake.

LouiseAbel
May 9th, 2012, 10:40 AM
I love the idea of the stall, especially if it's in Leeds! I'll definitely be coming to try some. :-)

I make vegan ice cream at home with a crappy little ice cream maker I got for 20 - it's really easy, but maybe I just have low standards. Not sure what the difference between ice cream and gelato is, since they mean the same thing...

harpy
May 9th, 2012, 10:52 AM
Yes Louise - I was wondering that too. I read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelato but am not that much the wiser :) Perhaps less fat than "normal" icecream, and made in smaller batches?

Lentils
May 9th, 2012, 11:14 AM
I love the idea of the stall, especially if it's in Leeds! I'll definitely be coming to try some. :-)

I make vegan ice cream at home with a crappy little ice cream maker I got for 20 - it's really easy, but maybe I just have low standards. Not sure what the difference between ice cream and gelato is, since they mean the same thing...

Heh I've read quite a bit online and people seem to have similar experiences with the crappy little ice cream makers, I'll definitely be getting one - even if I don't go through with this then I'll still be able to make some for myself to eat away my sorrows of unemployment :D While 'gelato' is the Italian word for ice cream, the traditional Italian method of making ice cream is slightly different and yields a lower fat and also more dense and flavourful product than 'normal' ice cream - though I guess when veganised it doesn't really matter which name you pick but 'ice cream' has lots of negative 'unhealthy' stuff associated with it.


I would probably buy one if I were passing your stall, but it sounds as if it might be a rather capital-intensive thing to do (because of the need to keep it frozen on the stall) in the first instance, so maybe you could think about starting with something easier such as homemade cakes/baked savouries which always seem to sell well?

If you're going to be making any sort of food you probably need to check the local hygiene regulations. There are a few online for various places though I can't see one for Leeds, this is for Harrogate: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=market%20stalls%20making%20food%20for%20sale%20m arket%20hygiene%20sinks%20yorkshire&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CHYQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.harrogate.gov.uk%2FDocuments% 2FJune%25202011%2520-%2520Food%2520safety%2520advice%2520for%2520market s.doc&ei=symqT9KRH5HV4QTHsI2lCQ&usg=AFQjCNG8sCZ8bySI5zhP8YP7WQWpSP6_Gg (See 5. MANUFACTURING FOOD AT HOME FOR SALE FROM YOUR MARKET STALL)

It does sound a bit of a hassle but it must be possible as other people have done it with great success, like the aforementioned Ms Cupcake.

Oh thanks a lot for that link, while I'm sure they will have some differences in Leeds it does give me an idea of what to expect and where I need to go to find out more. It does seem like a lot of hassel but if I can make it work and even earn just the equivalent of minimum wage then I'd be very happy! I'd probably try and do things on the cheap, atleast at first, for the reasons that you highlighted - I've already got a couple of ideas on how to refrigerate without specialised equipment.

Other stuff is certainly an option too - mmm freshly fried samosas!

I'll be getting a generic cheapo 'ice cream machine' and experimenting with some recipes, while finding out about the requirements and such of actually running the stall. I'm really open to any ideas though, I'd just like to offer something that no other place in the area does and especially cater for people that are generally lacking options such as vegans and coeliacs etc.

harpy
May 9th, 2012, 12:27 PM
Yeah, go for it Lentils - self-employment is much preferable to unemployment (and in my opinion to employment as well, but that's a matter of preference).

When I went freelance there was a lot of free advice about setting up your own business on offer from govt agencies (via JobCentres) and also banks etc. Also possibly some grants to get you started, if you were unemployed. Not sure if there's as much now but it's probably worth asking around. Also if you're under 30 or something I believe the Prince's Trust gives financial aid to startups.

You might want to listen to this Woman's Hour interview with Ms Cupcake and someone else who started their business with a market stall, although it's a bit female-oriented: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0194mvn#p00n3l2j (hope link works)

LouiseAbel
May 9th, 2012, 02:14 PM
Maybe you'll let me open up a sister stall on the York market if it goes well. ;-)

Lentils
May 9th, 2012, 03:08 PM
Sure :D

Btw, what recipe do you use when making ice cream?

LouiseAbel
May 9th, 2012, 03:33 PM
The first few times, I used some recipes I found online (YouTube, Google etc.) and one that came with the ice cream maker itself, but now I just make it up as I go along...

Basically, you need to make a custard sort of mixture on the hob, so I do a vegan white sauce first of all. Butter and flour (could use gluten free flour) in the pan to make a roux, then add whichever milk you want + sugar + vanilla essence until it's thick and creamy. (Again, I just guess the amounts and taste to check they're okay! Probably not ideal!) Then you have to let that cool in the fridge before putting it in the ice cream maker.

Recently I've been putting peanut butter or "cookie dough" (I make a little batch up really quickly" into the mixture when I pour it into the ice cream maker and it helps to thicken it and make it more... luxurious. :umm: Otherwise, just add whichever flavours you want into the mixture when you're cooking it. Coffee ice cream is the shiiit. Ooh or you could make caramel/toffee sauce in a separate pan and then add that into the mixture when you're freezing it all. Or chocolate chips!

Sorry, that was so unprofessional. There are lots of recipes online, though, if my explanation is unusable! And you could always pop over to York and we can make a batch if you like.

Cacique
May 14th, 2012, 06:48 PM
Louise, you're making me drool. Anyone know the best way to make sure a cheap ice cream maker isn't a complete waste?