By: Vivienne Pearson
Many publications would wait until the first week of summer to do a feature on ice-cream. Not us. The sun is shining, the sea beckons and we know there’s nothing better after a beach trip than an ice-cream. If it’s made in house by locals, all the better.
Knox & Aya (see main story opposite) are the latest in a long tradition of in-house-made ice-cream and gelati in this region. Here are some of the others:
Tastebuds tickled pink
In the Pink is one of the mainstays of locally made gelati, having been in business for nearly 30 years. Supplying other ice-creameries as well as their own store, In the Pink are proud to be one of the few to make their gelati from scratch, using only Norco milk, and to source the rest of their produce locally, including at farmers markets. 20a Jonson Street, Byron Bay
Colour, colour everywhere
It’s not just the ice-cream that is colourful at Lennox Gelato & Coffee Co – the entire shop is blazing colour, including the sprinkles and coffee cups (and yes, there’s even a rainbow ‘flavour’). Owner Dan makes the gelato fresh every day. ‘I go to the farmers market to buy strawberries,’ he says. If that doesn’t put you in the mood for gelati, I’m not sure what will! On the day I visited, customers ranged in age from bubs-in-arms to ladies-relying-on-walkers – is gelati the least age-discriminating food around? On the beach at Lennox Head.
All in the family
At the tender ages of two years six months, Frankie and Lucas Hardy are not quite old enough to realise that their parents have the coolest job in the world – they own a gelati shop! Layla and Matt Hardy have run Bernardi’s in Brunswick Heads for six years. Layla learned the gelato trade from the original owners who used their gelateria-owning Italian grandparents’ recipes. ‘We still use the recipes,’ says Layla. ‘We have people come from Italy and say it’s the best gelato they’ve ever had.’ 22 Fingal Street, Brunswick Heads (next to the health food shop).
Andy Raberg was a bar manager before his life took a turn for the sweeter almost a year ago when he became in-house gelati maker for Beaches & Cream. ‘It’s fun!’ he says. ‘It’s almost a form of art – I use a recipe but it’s up to me to get the balance right.’ Andy notes that he alters the recipe slightly depending on the weather. ‘If it’s really warm, I might need to use less sugar,’ he says. ‘It changes a bit with the season.’ He learnt from a ‘gelati master’ and now feels confident enough to invent new flavours, like banana-nutella and a coconut-lime sorbet. On the off-chance that someone in your crew doesn’t feel like ice-cream? Beaches & Cream make their own donuts too! 14 Bay Street, Byron Bay (opposite the surf life saving club)
Made in the pantry
For Pantry 29, located about half-way down the hill in Bangalow, ice-cream is only one part of their business. While they have some unique flavours, including Turkish delight and ginger, the most popular are mint choc-chip, vanilla, and chocolate. After owning the business for six years, the joy of eating an ice-cream hasn’t dimished. ‘I love eating it,’ says Lisa Fisher, adding that though her favourite flavour varies, mint choc-chip is a mainstay. ‘It reminds me of my childhood,’ she says. www.pantry29.com.au
Photo LISA FISHER
Life is short
‘Life is short, eat dessert first,’ says a social media post by Bella Rosa. Researching this story, I realised that the presentation of gelati is becoming a standalone art form. At Bella Rosa, I had to look twice before realising that the mango flavour was actually gelati, not cut slices of mango! 11 Jonson Street, Byron Bay
Next new kid on the block
Teven Valley Farm is a brand-new small on-farm manufacturer of ice-cream. ‘We got all our approvals through two weeks ago,’ says Mark Parry, adding that they are currently talking with local retailers and cafes. One of their flavours will be burnt-honey and others are in development, including a banana ice-cream with peanut and bacon brittle! http://www.tevenvalleyfarm.com.au