Ice cream: the perfect treat on a spring or summer day. The sugary, ice cold dessert is the perfect contrast to a humid, hot day. What people don’t realize is that ice cream can actually be a little exclusive.
What about the lactose intolerant and vegan people who can’t have dairy? Are they supposed to just sit back and watch their friends enjoy the delicious treat while their hearts break and their stomachs growl?
Christine Cruz, owner of Babe’s Ice Cream located in Bay View, Wisconsin, has noticed the people who are missing out on the famous dessert. When she first opened her ice cream store, she didn’t have dairy-free options, and her heart went out to those who weren’t able to buy anything.
“There were always one or two people standing off who couldn’t buy anything, and a lightbulb went off in my head,” Cruz said.
This lightbulb can attribute to Babe’s 30 different vegan ice cream flavors, ranging from creamy oreo to mint chip and many more. Her store still includes “regular” ice cream, but now there are options for more people.
But how is this possible? How can ice cream be delicious and vegan?
“It’s made with soy,” Cruz said. “It’s even for people who are lactose intolerant.”
And you can hardly taste the difference. Even Cruz’s daughter, who isn’t even vegan herself, “always goes for the vegan options.” Cruz’s vegan customers can’t get enough.
“My vegan customers come in groups,” Cruz said. “They always come in raving.”
Cruz doesn’t take the importance of dessert lightly. Babe’s Ice Cream has delicious options far beyond just ice cream. One of her most well-known items on the menu is called “The Best Brownie Sundae Ever”, and Cruz can agree that it truly is the best thing they have.
Not only is it tasty, but it can be made vegan.
“I would recommend the vegan brownie sundae,” Cruz said. “It is the best vegan brownie sundae ever.”
There are even more options for dairy-free customers that Cruz certainly hasn’t forgotten about. She knows that even vegans want to have options for toppings, cakes and more.
“We have vegan cookies, cakes, brownies and whipped cream,” Cruz said. “They (customers) want to be able to treat themselves; they don’t want to be limited.”
The creamy, thick whipped cream serves as a big hit at the store.
“One time, a man just wanted his cup filled with whipped cream,” Cruz said.
Babe’s Ice Cream truly welcomes all and wants all customers to have the best experience possible. When Cruz talks about her customers, her eyes light up with nothing less than passion and excitement. Nobody is left out at Babe’s.
“I listen to the customers and pay attention to what they’re asking,” Cruz said. “I focus on what the customers are looking for.”
Not sure what you want? Cruz is more than happy to help.
“I let customers know right away–we have a lot of options here,” Cruz said. “I really offer samples. Pick something you like, rather than get something you don’t end up liking.”
Cruz isn’t done with her big ideas to include as many different customers as possible.
“I have so much to share, I’m ready to explode,” Cruz said.