March 10, 2021
In 2015, Pamela Aflalo was an IT business consultant turned stay-at-home mom living in Connecticut. When it became apparent that her daughter, Sophie, was suffering from allergies, they decided to try a plant-based diet. The only problem? Pamela couldn’t find an ice cream that Sophie loved. So she began experimenting. Before long, Nutty Bunny was born.
As Told To Ace Natural
It took about a year to create the first Nutty Bunny flavor, because every time I would make a batch, Sophie would say, “Well, this is a little too sweet,” or “It’s a little too something.” Nearly a year later, Sophie said the Vanilla ice cream was perfect. Next, I made Chocolate because who doesn’t like Chocolate? The third flavor was Hazelnut Chocolate Crunch, then Orange Blossom, which tastes like a creamsicle and won first place in the “frozen dessert” category by The Connecticut Specialty Food Association.
I started out by just making these vegan ice creams at home in one of those little Cuisinart ice cream machines, where you have to refreeze the bowl every time. Once friends started ordering them I thought, “Hey, this could be a business.” So I went to the premier caterer in Connecticut, Marcia Selden Catering, to see what they thought of my four flavors. They really loved them all and one of their employees said, “I don’t understand how this is not dairy!” It was my favorite line and it has been ever since.
Robin Selden, who is also the director of International Caterers Association, said, “We’re having an event this weekend. Would you like to sample your ice cream?” So I gratefully accepted and the feedback was so incredible that it gave me the confidence to believe it could be a viable business.
All the flavors are cashew and almond-based because I wanted all the ingredients to be nutritionally dense. When you’re trying to make something plant-based, you need some fat. Nuts provide a really good source of fat and protein to give the ice cream creaminess, which I learned at The Natural Gourmet Institute when I was a student.
For seasonal flavors, we now have Moroccan Rose, introduced for Valentines’ Day and inspired by Moroccan desserts, which often have a hint of rose water. My husband grew up in Morocco, so we’ve travelled there several times and I always enjoy the delicate rosewater-infused pastries. We tried to recreate that experience in our Moroccan Rose. We also had Maple Walnut and Spicy Pumpkin for fall flavors and will be introducing Lemon and other refreshing spring/summer flavors soon!
A year ago, we moved into a new, amazing space, where we handcraft all of our products. It also has a small retail area, where you can purchase all of our flavors in pint containers or cute single-serve cups to enjoy outside at our bistro tables or walk around to see the outdoor art gallery. At the beginning of COVID, carloads of families would just drive by and look at all the artwork.
We’re in more than 32 stores in Connecticut and New York and you can have our yummy, certified organic desserts shipped to your door from our website. Business has been surprisingly even better since the pandemic. I don’t know if it’s because people are home more so they’re having more desserts but we’ve done just fine through COVID. We’re very grateful.
Thanks so much, Pamela! If you want to try Nutty Bunny’s certified organic, plant-based, vegan, GMO-free, gluten-free ice cream you can find them in stores or order here.