Frankie & Jo's: The Future Of Ice Cream
by Wolf & Badger
Frankie & Jo's are on a mission to transform the way we think about plant-based food. Their vegan ice-cream is created with house-made sprouted cashew milk and gum free coconut milk, to create lusciously creamy ice cream that won't hurt the planet. We caught up with founder and co-owner Autumn Martin to find out more about the B corp certified brand's ice cream innovation.
Who are Frankie & Jo?!
Frances and Joanne, nicknames Frankie and Jo, my two late grandmothers. They were both inspiring women to me, and honoring them by naming my company after them felt so right.
Where did the idea to start a plant-based ice cream shop come from?
Ice cream has been a food of love in my family since my young childhood, it's our language. After high school, I studied culinary arts and became a pastry chef in 2002, then on to chocolatiering, making dessert my world. In 2008, I got serious about a dairy allergy I knew I had, and cut it out of my diet for good. I was also very into alternative health, and was really into cleansing regularly, so cutting out processed sugar was a regular thing for me. I missed eating ice cream, there was nothing that came close to satisfying my need for high-quality, and/or my cleansing needs, so I set out to make it.
What sets you apart from other vegan ice cream brands?
Many things, but importantly, we do not use any gums or stabilizers, we make some flavors sweetened with just dates and maple, and, our ice cream is the creamiest, most delicious we have ever tasted.
Do you each have a favorite flavor you’re created to date that you can talk our readers through?
My business partner is on maternity leave, so I can only speak to my favorite flavor. While California Cabin is not a flavor I go to regularly to eat, it is one of my most proud ice creams we have made. First, we smoke whole vanilla beans that come from a woman-owned farm in Mexico. We steep our base with these pods and seeds, and add pine essential oil. The flavor of the base has such a depth and a flavor profile that is intoxicating, but you can't quite put your finger on the individual flavor notes. We nestle chunks of black pepper cardamom shortbread throughout, and the whole experience is just magical. We love creating ice creams that can bring someone to a sense of place, or a sense of time - getting people emotional about our ice cream brings me joy.
Your brand mission focuses around sustainable food improvement as well as empowering women and minorities. Can you tell us a bit about some of the organisations you’ve recently been donating too?
We recently started working with a non-profit called Brave Trails, who are dedicated to the LGTBQ+ youth community. They have these awesome summer camps where the children can build community, gain mentors and learn, all in the outdoors! We donate some of our Strawberry Milk sales on an annual basis.
Well done for becoming a B Corp! What value do you think it brings to Frankie & Jo's?
So much value! The B Corp certification holds us accountable. The process of becoming certified has given us deep learning in how we can make specific changes that can (and do) impact the lives of our employees and communities.
How did you find the process?
The process was enlightening. We thought we were already doing such a good job being better stewards in the business world, but we learned there was so much more we could be doing, and have gleaned amazing tools to help us get there.
What’s next for Frankie & Jo’s since achieving B Corp?
We will keep doing us - making the best vegan ice cream we possibly can, supporting organic farming, tending to our staff and community, and of course, learning daily on how to be and do better.
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