Ice cream shop LA Dear Bella Creamery was founded by Taiwanese-Americans Alice Cherng and Belinda Wei in 2017 to “provide a limitless approach to plant-based ice cream and other frozen treats” and quickly became a success in Hollywood among vegans and non-vegans. same, recently revealing expansion plans beginning with a new location in Costa Mesa.
Founding Best Friends recently announced that the entire plant-based ice cream line, including flavors such as Mango Sticky Rice, Taiwanese Pineapple Cake, Sweet Red Bean, Passion Fruit Banana and Matcha Soft Serve, is now available for sale. shipping to the United States nationwide. as the business gets better and better.
It was time to catch up with Alica and Belinda to discuss all things vegan ice cream.
Tell us about yourself and why you founded Dear Bella Creamery
We opened Dear Bella Creamery in 2017 with the goal of creating a product that brings joy and pleasure to people and a space that inspires connection. We first met at a vegan restaurant we both worked at in Los Angeles, and quickly became best friends, united by our love for food.
“Our ice cream is decadent, creamy and exciting like dairy ice cream, but without any animal-derived ingredients.”
Alice, who handles administration, marketing and business development, is a CPA with decades of experience working with restaurants and retailers in accounting and finance. Belinda, who runs the store’s operations, is a Le Cordon Bleu graduate and has worked in many high profile restaurants and restaurants as a Pastry Chef.
How do you change people’s view of vegetable ice cream?
What we hear over and over again from our customers when they try our ice cream for the first time is, “I can’t believe it’s dairy-free/vegan/plant-based!”” It’s because our ice cream is decadent, creamy and exciting like dairy ice cream, but without any animal-derived ingredients.
We are not trying to create a “healthier” alternative to dairy ice cream. Instead, we’re creating something as indulgent as the original dairy, while creating a new flavor experience with our chef recipes. OOur goal is to change people’s perspective and not view dairy-free ice cream as an inferior alternative. to experience it as a product in its own right with exciting and unique flavors and textures that are equally satisfying.
“Our goal is to push people’s point of view so that they no longer see dairy-free ice cream as an inferior alternative to experiencing it as a stand-alone product”
What makes your herbal offerings so unique?
We meticulously create each flavor until we believe it’s perfect. Each flavor should not only wow our palates, but tell a story. The birth of a flavor usually happens when Belinda and I are inspired to tell a story. For example, our Taiwanese Pineapple Cake was born when we wanted to celebrate Chinese New Year with something from our heritage.
After thinking about the flavor, Belinda begins to bring our idea to fruition. With her culinary background and my gourmet tongue, we are very critical of our products, which means that developing a flavor can take dozens of iterations. The end result is a high quality and unique product that we are very proud of.
“We meticulously create each flavor until we believe it’s perfect. Each flavor should not only wow our palates, but tell a story”
Tell us about the ingredients you use and your ice cream base.
We are committed to using only natural ingredients, which is actually a lot harder to execute than it looks. The majority of ingredients in the bulk trade are highly processed with many of what we consider “bad” ingredients, such as artificial colors and flavors, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and GMOs. .
Sourcing all-natural ingredients is expensive and time-consuming, but that’s non-negotiable for us. The base of our ice cream is oat milk, coconut milk, nut butters and/or fruit, and we use unrefined cane sugar and tapioca syrup as a sweetener. From there we buy the actual ingredient we are trying to highlight, i.e. fresh pineapple for the Taiwanese pineapple cake and one ingredient peanut butter for the buttercup of peanut.
How has your business grown over the past 5 years since opening in 2017?
Dear Bella has evolved enormously since our opening 5 years ago in terms of experiences as owners and operators. We have become more confident and outspoken since we started. This translates into better systems, better morale, and better products. Instead of just trying to survive, we can now focus on connecting with our community, creating a great work environment, and developing cutting-edge products.
What have been some of the challenges and solutions of scaling a business nationally?
It is indisputable that frozen food shipping is expensive and specialized. Since deciding to ship our ice cream nationally, we have faced many challenges, such as finding affordable shipping costs. Shipping a 20 pound frozen package with UPS 2nd Day Air usually costs around $200. To reduce this cost, we work with a company that consolidates shipments for many businesses to obtain reduced shipping rates from UPS.
In addition to shipping costs, there’s the cost of custom shipping boxes, insulated liners, and dry ice, all of which are expensive and hard to come by. We hope that by offering our products nationwide, we will be able to reach more people who can enjoy our unique plant-based ice cream.
Why is it important to have AAPI versions available?
Being both first-generation Taiwanese Americans, we believe we should take the opportunity to have our own space to shed more light on our culture. We have the perfect, non-threatening vehicle to create awareness, and we hope that even something as small as tasting the flavors of another culture can create more awareness and begin to bridge the gap between the familiar and the unknown. We love our culture and we love sharing it through our food.
What’s next for you?
We are opening our second location in Costa Mesa this summer! Our long-term vision is to create more space for connectivity and fun by opening more stores nationwide.
Ice cream lovers living anywhere in the United States can order Dear Bella ice cream here: https://www.dearbellacreamery.com/online-shop/national-shipping