Be Kind, Have An Ice Cream!
Serina Bajaj has always had a passion for dessert. Even while working in the retail industry she was always creating guilt-free desserts at home for her family. About three years ago she developed a condition and had to start avoiding dairy all together. Since she was already making healthier versions of desserts, it was a small step for her to start experimenting with dairy free ice cream, and the results were delicious! She realized that there are no vegan, chemical-free ice cream parlors in Malaysia and thought ‘Why not?!’ Together with her husband, they embarked on an “awesome guilt-free ice cream adventure” to create Kind Kones, and the rest is history.
Kind Kones is definitely more than just a vegan ice cream brand. What Serina wants to spread most of all is kindness. As she puts it: “We want to be kind to the environment, animals, community and of course health - which was the reason why we started this in the first place. Having 2 daughters, I want to provide healthier options for the next generation without taking the fun out of eating.”
Serina knew she was on to something when she had just opened her first store and a man walked passed and said: ”I don't believe your vegan ice cream can be any good.” “He wasn't a vegan and he was definitely not health conscious.” Serina remembers, “I asked him to come in and give it a try. To his credit he ended up buying a scoop and tried it. He then apologized to me on the way out! At that point I knew we had the potential to convert non vegan patrons who just want to eat ice cream.“
Kind Kones only uses real food ingredients in their ice creams and cakes with nothing artificial. They don't add any refined sugar, preservatives, additives, emulsifiers, artificial coloring and flavoring - so kids and adults can enjoy the ice creams without feeling bad about it!
In order to do so, Kind Kones has a team that is constantly sourcing local and seasonal ingredients, to ensure the consistent high quality of their products. Their best selling ice cream flavors are Almond Brittle Fudge, Salted Chocolate Chip, Black Forest and in terms of sorbet Chocolate and Passionfruit. But inorder to keep things innovative, Kind Kones launches a new favour every month, taking inspiration from friends, family, customers requests, social media contests etc.
The biggest challenge when making unprocessed gluten-free, vegan desserts, is that you’re restricted from using many conventional baking ingredients therefore the texture of cakes for example, may not be as soft or moist. But rest assured Serina and her team are constantly perfecting their craft. You would think that another challenge is the shelf life of the products, because there are no preservatives. But wastage is not an issue, since the ice cream and desserts sell out before they would have to be taken off the shelves.
Serina’s motivation to continue to spread kindness comes from her memorable experiences with her customers: “At our first Kind Kones outlet, a customer came in, bought an ice cream in a cone, sat down and literally teared up, looked up to the sky and said ‘Thank you God’. She was lactose intolerant and this was her first good ice cream in 5 years. Then recently at our Singapore outlet, a customer and her son chased me down in the mall to say thank you for Kind Kones. Her lactose & gluten intolerant son got to eat ice cream in a cone. I feel really touched when I hear kind words like these.”
Serina and her husband have opened 5 outlets in Malaysia and just opened their first in Singapore at The Forum, Orchard road. They plan on opening a few more stores in Singapore and then hopefully expanding into her home town Bangkok.