“Free-From” Business Spotlight: Coco’s Creamery: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free Frozen Coconut Dessert
2016 has been the year of the coconut for me. I’ve been limiting the amount of dairy in my diet, and it’s been all about coconut, all the time! A few weeks ago I stumbled across Coco’s Creamery on instagram and immediately fell in love with their beautiful packaging and delicious flavors. What sold me even more than the design of the package was the fact that all of their frozen desserts are dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, and peanut-free.
I connected with the owner of the company, Heather, who started Coco’s Creamery with her mother to learn more and find out how I could try her delicious treats. In the year that they’ve been operating as a business Coco’s Creamery has been so positively received that they’re quickly expanding to sell their frozen coconut desserts in numerous grocery stores throughout New York and New Jersey. I spoke with Heather about how she started her business, her favorite frozen dessert flavors, what it’s like to source allergen-free ingredients, how she tackles her own food allergies, and more.
AFW: How did Coco’s Creamery begin?
Heather: After impressing friends and family with a variety of frozen desserts I made, the journey of Cocos Creamery began. What makes our product different is that all of our flavors are free from top major allergens, including wheat/gluten, dairy, soy, eggs and peanuts. Because the frozen dessert contains coconut we aren’t technically classified as nut-free. Each flavor has the benefits of live active probiotic cultures with no artificial colors or flavors,Â and we use pure crystalline fructose as a natural sweetener. We love making our delicious desserts and we are fully committed to blending each batch perfectly to bring you the taste of summer all year round.
AFW: Your frozen dessert is soy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free and egg-free! Was it difficult to find ingredients that were allergen-free?
Heather: Yes, it was bit difficult finding kosher, allergen free toppings to add to our desserts, but once we found the right ones the flavors turned out perfectly.
AFW: Tell me about your process for coming up with new flavors. Where do you get your inspiration?
We decide on new flavors based on customer requests. We love feedback whether it’s good or bad and we take everything into consideration.
AFW: What’s the most rewarding part about being a small business owner?
Heather: The most rewarding part of our business is seeing our product in specialty stores and on supermarket shelves. We also love when customers say WOW, I can’t believe this is allergen free, it’s delicious…Owning our own business allows us to pursue our passion on our own time and we are able to control every aspect of our business the way we see fit.
AFW: You’re also a mother of four! How do you juggle being a mom and starting a new company?
Heather: Yes, I have 4 kids and 5 dogs. My mother is my business partner and we work when my kids are in school and again after they go to bed. We are super organized and we use our time wisely. We always keep a freezer stocked with flavors so when a large order comes in we are prepared.
AFW: You have food allergies yourself. What is the most difficult allergy you deal with?
Heather: I am allergic to wheat, eggs, eggplant and seafood. I am also a vegetarian. Wheat was my hardest challenge to overcome because it is hidden in a lot of foods. Now the choices of gluten free foods are endless, so luckily it’s not hard for me to find safe gluten-free products anymore.
AFW: What are your favorite toppings for a bowl of Cocos Creamery Frozen Dessert?
Heather: My mother and I both love chocolate so we always top our cocos deserts with chocolate and crunchy allergen free cookies.
AFW: What are your favorite flavors? What about your mom?
Heather: My favorite flavors are coconut and lime. My mom loves chocolate and grapefruit.
AFW: What’s your hope for the business?
Heather: Our goal is to get Cocos Creamery on shelves everywhere so that everyone can enjoy the frozen desserts that they love without the worry of ingredients containing allergens.
AFW: Describe Coco’s Creamery in three words.
Heather: Light, flavorful, delicious
Thank you Heather! Live in NJ/NY? Purchase Coco’s Creamery though Kosher Valet.