Samir and Hemali from Mumbai turned vegans 20 years in the past and raised their kids as vegans. Right here’s how they discovered options to every little thing, together with ice cream
The determination to show vegan was not straightforward for Mumbai-based Samir Prasad, the founding father of Vegan Bites and Nomou, and his father. As vegetarians, their eating regimen was closely dairy dependent and since they made the choice to go vegan just about in a single day, twenty years in the past, it meant their meals selections turned extraordinarily restricted. Vegans are individuals who chorus from consuming meat, eggs, dairy merchandise, and every other animal-derived substances.
Milk, buttermilk, ghee, and curd had all the time fashioned a big a part of the diets of the father-son duo. Now, they didn’t simply have to surrender these necessary sources of diet but additionally needed to begin resisting meals like their favorite desserts for instance. Who of their proper minds ever mentioned no to gajar ka halwa?
The household’s vegan journey began at a time when the vegan motion had not but picked up steam in India. Father and son began by giving up animal merchandise like milk and honey and educating themselves about veganism until it turned a lifestyle for them. Samir’s spouse Hemali, the co-founder of Vegan Bites and Nomou, took the animal cruelty-free route a couple of years later after their first youngster Svea Aariyeh was born. Throughout her second being pregnant, Hemali stayed off milk utterly, opting as an alternative for options like soy milk, and their son Aarav was born completely wholesome.
The couple’s two youngsters have been raised vegan. They have been educated about this lifestyle by their mother and father and given the choice of consuming dairy, which they determined in opposition to. In actual fact, Aarav may usually be seen educating his mates and relations concerning the well being and environmental advantages of being vegan.
All the pieces gave the impression to be going superb till Aarav’s mates started mocking him for not consuming ice cream. The teen tried to persuade his mother and father to make ice cream an exception in his eating regimen plan. Nonetheless, as an alternative of simply in search of a vegan ice cream model to mitigate Aarav’s FOMO (Concern of Lacking Out), the mother and father determined to launch Nomou, a vegan ice cream model, in 2016.
“We had appreciable expertise within the vegan discipline via Vegan Bites, our meal catering service that we now have been working since 2011. We catered for every little thing besides ice cream. Aarav’s demand served as a set off for our new section. We thought our experience and enterprise acumen within the discipline would make the method comparatively simpler however ice cream is a unique ball recreation altogether,” Samir and Hemali advised The Higher India.
Curiously, their model title Nomou comes from ‘No-Moo’, which means ‘no to cow’s milk.’ However since there may be already a registered American model with that title, the duo performed with the phrases and at last picked Nomou.
No Preservatives, Colors or Synthetic Flavours
How does one promote ice cream that doesn’t include milk, its essential ingredient, to ice cream lovers? This query bothered the husband-wife crew for a very long time. Finally, they determined to dive straight into the issue and begin experimenting.
They bought a small ice cream-making machine and began to check out options like almond milk, coconut milk, and wheat milk. As an alternative of processed and refined white sugar, they experimented with jaggery, cane sugar, brown sugar, and palm sugar.
Their preliminary guinea pigs have been their very own kids and relations who gave real suggestions to assist them develop a vegan ice cream closest to a traditional one. Additionally they received evaluations from clients who have been supplied ice lotions together with their catered meals.
As soon as Samir and Hemali started to get a optimistic response, they bought higher ice cream-making tools and tied up with distributors from Odisha to supply uncooked elements immediately from farmers.
For a while, they offered their ice cream below the ‘Vegan Bites’ model title and in early 2020 they launched Nomou. Coming into the market was not straightforward, given the misconceptions about vegan ice cream just like the absence of milk is immediately linked to lack of calcium, and so forth. Even the style of the ice lotions was totally different.
Subsequently, as an alternative of getting in for advertising straight away, they determined to depend on word-of-mouth and social media publicity. Additionally they began to take their merchandise to farmers’ markets the place patrons have been often conscious of the advantages of consuming natural meals.
Their efforts paid off as a result of they found there was a market, albeit a distinct segment one, for vegan ice lotions. At the moment, Nomou is offered in supermarkets like Nature’s Basket, ice cream parlours, and even on to clients who order through Swiggy and Zomato.
The ‘guilt-free’ vegan ice lotions are made utilizing coconut milk and palm sugar. No synthetic colors or flavours are added to reinforce the style, so the flavours are totally different from these of standard ice lotions.
For instance, their chocolate ice cream makes use of extra cocoa than common, which, when mixed with pure elements apart from dairy, offers it a novel flavour. Likewise, different ice lotions to mix non-dairy merchandise with the pleasant style of freshly roasted almonds, pistachios, saffron, figs, walnuts, coconut, and so forth.
“It’s superb that they don’t use refined sugar, preservatives, fillers, or vegetable oils, however as an alternative use cleaner entire meals elements equivalent to cashews and coconut to offer a creaminess to their ice-cream. A fast style observe about their ‘Cookies ‘n Cream’ ice-cream − it’s top-of-the-line ice-creams (vegan or not) I’ve ever tasted. And for an athlete like me, it’s a guilt-free deal with that I give myself often,” says Kuntal Joisher, a mountaineer and motivational speaker, who has been vegan for the final 18 years.
Nomou affords a number of lip-smacking flavours − from choco almond, bourbon vanilla, and mint chocolate chip, to black sesame, espresso, paan, and sea salt caramel. The shelf lifetime of all these ice lotions is three months if saved at -18 diploma Celsius temperature.
The couple’s Nomou gross sales have grown steadily and, on common, they promote 600 tubs at Nature’s Basket, 400 tubs through Swiggy and Zomato, and near 100 tubs through personal orders each month, says Hemali.
“The lockdown has given us an amazing alternative to increase our operations as persons are changing into extra health-conscious and choosing pure meals objects. Our catering service has been affected so we’re specializing in Nomou to satisfy the rising demand. The market is prepared for vegan merchandise and we hope to cater in cities like Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkata quickly,” she provides.
A Lifetime of A Vegan
Samir and Hemali turned vegans purely for well being causes like weight reduction, decreasing coronary heart illness, and reducing ldl cholesterol and blood sugar ranges.
Nonetheless, within the course of, additionally they turned conscious of the opposite repercussions of utilizing animal or animal-based merchandise and regularly made adjustments to their life-style. For example, the household now stays away from buying leather-based merchandise, silk, and cosmetics that don’t use pure elements.
“The situation of animals on farms and slaughterhouses is unlucky and tragic. They’re given naked minimal to outlive and are crammed into sheds. Cows are forcibly impregnated and calves are separated from their moms at beginning in order that milk might be preserved for human consumption. By choosing cruelty-free merchandise we will considerably scale back the demand, which in flip ensures fewer animals undergo. Each time our household buys packaged meals or different grocery objects, we learn the labels to make sure what we’re shopping for are cruelty-free objects,” says Samir.
Each Hemali and Samir consider in the present day is the very best time for folks to go vegan, given the extensive and simple availability of vegan choices − be it vegan recipes on-line, vegan leather-based, vegan groceries, or eating places serving a lot of vegan dishes.
Get in contact with Nomou here
Edited by Nishi Malhotra