Cream of the Crop Gelato is an Irish-based sustainable company specialising in gelato and sorbets.
Written by Melanie May
Identifying a solution to food waste, Brazilian-native chef Giselle Makinde founded Cream of the Crop in 2020, and has since been going from strength to strength. Operating with a zero waste, more taste ethos, Giselle battles food waste by using surplus produce that would otherwise end up in landfill and transforming it into delicious gelato and sorbets.
We caught up with Giselle to find out all about her innovative product, her inspiration and her interesting flavours, some of which don’t always make it to market.
Tell us about idea behind Cream of the Crop Gelato.
Cream of the Crop was born from the idea of saving ‘wonky’, perfectly edible food that would normally be thrown out as it is not aesthetically pleasing and saving produce that is near its shelf life that wouldn’t be sold in the supermarket.
So why gelato? Why did you start making gelato in the first place?
I knew I wanted to start a business using surplus, but didn’t know what exactly. After a trip to Amsterdam, where I visited Instock and saw their business model, I realised that fruits and dairy were a huge problem. Because of the large surplus and short shelf life of these items it is hard to redistribute them to charities. So, I combined in my mind milk+fruits = gelato.
Why do you think people love gelato so much?
Because gelato is fun, it’s connected to sunny days, holidays, pleasure. Beside a good scoop of gelato can change anyone’s mood, doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter. I love when I deliver to my customers and as soon as they open the door and realise that the delivery is gelato… the smile on their faces is amazing.
What ingredients do you use in your gelato and how do you source them?
I use Irish ingredients whenever possible, especially when it comes to dairy and non-dairy (I use Flahavan’s oat milk) and some fruits like strawberry. However, because the main idea of my product is working with surplus, basically everything that I source (Irish or non-Irish) is welcome.
I mainly source my products from local shops, small producers and now, I am about to start collecting surplus from Food Cloud.
How do you make your gelato? What is your secret?
I make traditional gelato like they do in Italy, with no artificial colourings or flavourings. Like the good old days. Secret? Love. Each time we collect a surplus and transform it into gelato there is a sense of “we are doing something good, saving this food from being waste”.
After we taste the result, and see how something that was left aside can turn into something so delicious that will bring loads of smiles, that is very rewarding.
Can you tell us about the suitability of your product and why this is so important for you and the food industry?
I wanna show people that it is possible to build a company using surplus ingredients. It’s not easy, you’ll face loads of challenges that in a normal business you wouldn’t have to face, but, if you use your imagination and really love what you are doing, it is possible.
We use what was rejected to make a beautiful product. So, when you savoury our gelato, think about that. Think about what else can be done using the same principle.
Where do you make your gelato?
We are based on Cork Street in Dublin City centre, but we are looking for a bigger space to move our production.
Where do you get the inspiration for your flavours?
From my taste memory from Brazil and the foods that I used to eat. Classic combinations like blue cheese and pear or rhubarb and beetroot, that remind me of guava (my favourite fruit ever — and I can’t find it here).
What is your most popular flavour?
Sea salt caramel with brownies, there’s no doubt about it.
What flavour should people try to really get a taste of what you are all about?
Definitely blue cheese and pear. You might be happily surprised.
Have you ever created any flavours that didn’t work out so well?
Yes, matcha and lemon sorbet. Definitely a no go! Hahahahaha
What are the secrets to your success?
Working 14 hours a day, at least.
How did you grow and expand your business?
I think it is a combination of good product and good idea. But, I am still impressed that I have grown so fast and in such a short period of time. I ask the same question to myself and can’t find an answer.
How did you get your products on the shelves of Aldi?
I applied for the program Grow with Aldi in January 2021 and my business was picked along with many other incredible businesses.
What can consumers look forward to seeing from you in the future?
I have so many ideas in my mind that it’s hard to say what I will choose first. But definitely another line of zero waste products.
Where can people try your wonderful products?
They can find us in many small shops across Dublin and in some others counties as well or on the Cream of the Crop online shop.
Check out Cream of the Crop Christmas hamper you will not be disappointed