Who doesn´t love the arrival of summer…even when it´s a little bit drizzly!? And big scoops of ice cream definitely help get into the spirit of things, come rain or shine!
Thanks to Amber, Joseph and the team at Beau´s, you can be joyously surprised with new flavours of creamy, vegan gelato arriving direct to your doorstep every month, if you become part of their brilliant Pint Club venture. (We should say that this is not just a summer luxury – it´s available all year round!)
Their ethos is not just based on creating incredible flavours for everybody to enjoy but they are also entirely committed to developing a fully sustainable business model with ethical sourcing of ingredients. And this is where we come in! We provide Beau´s with fairtrade cashews that make the base for many of their velvety gelato creations!
It is with great pleasure that we include them on our small but perfectly formed list of independent buyers and, when the sun poked it´s head out, we took the opportunity to speak to co-founder Amber and learn a bit more about Beau´s…
Hi Amber! How did Beau´s come to fruition and how has it been received so far?
Beau’s was a long time in the brewing. We didn’t come from food and drink backgrounds ourselves; Joseph originally worked in finance and I was a neonatal nurse. So it was a massive leap into the unknown for both of us. Before we started even making our first batch, we knew that we had to pay respect to the lineage and the wealth of technical information out there and learn from the masters about the foundational principles of making gelato.
As well as our studies at the Gelato University in Bologna, we attended numerous webinars, conducted extensive research into the science of ice cream making and engaged with a consultant in America who had run a successful vegan ice cream parlour in New York.
We set about trialling Beau’s on a small scale on the Isle of Wight and it went down so well in all the different settings we tried it in, so we knew then we had to take it to the next stage. We spent years dreaming of a direct-to-consumer service and, after a lot of work, Beau’s Pint Club was launched: a wonderful community for ice cream lovers!
As mentioned, Liberation supplies you with Fairtrade cashews to make the base for all of your ice cream flavours. Why did you choose us as a supplier? Do you source all your ingredients from ethical businesses?
When we chose cashew as our hero ingredient for our gelatos, we started to research the cashew industry and found out about some of the humanitarianly horrific practices that are tragically commonplace within the cashew farming world.
Early on, we said to ourselves that there was no possible way we could make ice cream with a clean conscience if by doing so we were causing immense suffering and pain on the very people who harvest it. Blood cashews were a firm no from the outset.
So we started to do our research on ethical and humane providers of cashews and, prior to our work with Liberation, we worked with a number of suppliers of fairly traded cashews. As we have grown, so too has our relationship with Liberation and, happily, we can say with great pride that our cashews are Fairtrade certified with close links to the farmers. That is hands down one of our biggest milestones as a company so far.
We take the same approach to all of our ingredients, ensuring they are fairly traded and ethically sourced. There’s no point trying to create a product for good when it is causing harm in the background. Our mission as a company is to call for great transparency across the food chain so people know exactly what they are buying and where it is coming from. That is what it means to be part of a global community with a sustainable future.
In an ideal world, where would you like to see Beau´s in 5 or 10 years’ time?
Is it corny to say everywhere? In all seriousness, we have big visions for Beau’s. we don’t see it as just a brand, we see it as a vehicle for change in the industry. The ice cream industry is rife with dirty practices, from the predominance of dairy to the use of unclean, highly processed ingredients. We want to change this, for people and the planet. We will continue to push the industry towards sustainable practices: part of this will be selling tubs and ice cream cones of Beau’s gelato, while the other side will be private label manufacturing for other brands who want to make a real contribution and use ethical, sustainable production methods.
You are in the process of becoming Planet Mark certified. What will this signify for the company and for Beau´s as a company what is the most challenging part of becoming fully sustainable?
We’re really excited about our work with the Planet Mark. Certification allows us to pin point exactly where we are with our emissions and gives us the tools to actively reduce them year on year until we are carbon negative.
The biggest challenge we face in our sustainability process is, quite frankly, the murkiness of the industry. It’s extremely difficult to calculate your full footprint when you are a manufacturer, as it is often tricky to trace back to the exact origin of your materials.
The other fundamental issue, which is not talked about often enough, is the hidden use of plastics in the transporting industry. We don’t tend to think about how food is transported and, where many products claim to be ‘plastic free’, they are often shipped in vast pallets covered in shrink wrap – not to mention the plastic used to coat raw materials.
This is something we are actively trying to find solutions for, because our future on this planet cannot involve plastic in the quantities in which we are currently consuming it. As part of our own mission to become plastic-free, we are about to work with world-leading packaging scientists, who have created truly food safe barrier protective tubs which are both plastic-free and home compostable.
What does being vegan mean to you?
Personally speaking, I turned vegan in 2005 because it did not feel right to cause suffering to animals when I could live perfectly healthily on plant-based alternatives. Back then it was a fairly bleak landscape of options: unsweetened soya milk you had to cart around everywhere if you stood a chance of having a cuppa, and the old favourite of side salad and chips whenever you went out for a meal. Which, I have to say holds a fond place in my heart and is up there as a favourite meal!
But joyously, times have changed in ways I could never have imagined. As we move into at an alarmingly fast pace towards complete climate crisis, veganism has become a beacon of hope, a possible solution out of the catastrophic mess we have created. For me now, veganism is the solution for humanity’s existence on this fragile planet.
And last but definitely not least, how will you be celebrating summer?
With tons of ice cream! We love summer because it’s the season of soft fruits, so we will be busy bees in the kitchen creating numerous fruity numbers to cool down with in the heat. We are also kicking off the official start to summer with our launches into Planet Organic, Selfridges and Daylesford Organic, which we are absolutely over the moon about!