Hello ice cream fans!
Since Wheeler’s Black Label Vegan Ice Cream started selling our product to the public back in October (was it really only in October? Seems like we’ve been doing this forever!), we’ve been trying our hardest to 1) create the best tasting vegan ice cream possible; 2) be an active presence that actually pays attention to the people we serve; 3) establish ourselves as an independent micro “creamery”.
While we’re pleased that the vast majority of communications we’ve received from reviewers, tasters, and food writers has been positive and encouraging, we’re also admitting in full honesty that we’ve received some “concerns”. Some of it is fair enough, and was made with good intentions, but some of it has not. And considering these critiques were coming from certain multi-million dollar ice cream companies, it’s clearly meant to intimidate us as a small, fiercely independent business.
So, in order to meet the needs and act in good faith on the requests of those who are trying to help us improve, we’re going to be making some changes to our repertoire.
Wheeler’s Black Label Vegan Ice Cream Company will officially be changing our name to Wheeler’s Frozen Dessert Company. This company will make five different types of product.
We wish to emphasize that our primary focus (Wheeler guessimated about 98%) will be on continuing to make fabulous vegan ice creams that give other non-dairy and cows-milk ice cream makers something to think about. Never fear, we’re not going to make our current flavors (even more) difficult to get a hold of. These products will run under the name Wheeler’s Black Label Frozen Desserts.
Another product we’ll be selling will be Wheeler’s Black Label Sorbets. The name is pretty self-explanatory – we’ll be producing high-quality, traditional style sorbets with the same standard of deliciousness as the vegan ice “creams” you’ve come to love.
For adults only will be Wheeler’s Private Stock Black Label Desserts. These are actually just all of our flavors that contain alcohol all dressed up in a pretty new label. Flavors in the Private Stock are modeled after popular alcoholic drinks, like Kamikaze, White Russian, and Pina Colada. We’ve separated them out officially because even though we’ve always been very clear to note which flavors contain alcohol, it never hurts to stress the point. Separating them into a different brand also gives us greater flexibility for distribution, so that vendors can choose whether or not to carry Private Stock products.
The Black Label will also acquire added significance. Now, all but two products will carry the Black Label, which will note that the product is Vegan. Now, before you get all flustered about us no longer being exclusively vegan, I’ll explain why we’ve chosen this course of action.
Backtracking a little, these next two product lines were created just to address the “concerns” of a few big corporations. They are Wheeler’s Frozen Yogurt, and Wheeler’s Ice Cream. Wheeler’s dairy line will be, to allay concerns by our loyal vegans (our very first priority), in a super small, extremely low volume, totally limited edition capacity. Wheeler’s Frozen Yogurt has been created as a response to communications we’ve received from two certain frozen yogurt companies (that rhyme with StinkBerry and Bad Tango). For these very special haters of Wheeler’s Black Label, we’re creating a small line of frozen yogurts that will actually meet the taste and quality standards Wheeler’s holds. If we are able to duplicate these flavors into a suitable vegan form, we certainly will, and they will fly under the Black Label. Until we work out the specific formulations though, assume all frozen yogurts will be dairy-based.
Now, regarding Wheeler’s (dairy) Ice Cream. We’ll basically be making it by custom request only. Why do it at all, then? Well, the number one “concern” we’ve had from non-vegans (and a few vegans too) about our vegan ice creams is that we have no right to use the word “cream” since it doesn’t contain any actual cream. They insist that we should be using the phrase “frozen dessert”. This seems nit-picky to us. We think of the words “frozen dessert”, and it could be anything (a frozen parfait, or an ice cream cake, or even a candy bar that’s been thrown in the freezer), but doesn’t necessarily imply a non-dairy ice-cream-type dessert. Wheeler believes that making a small, token quantity of dairy ice cream will quiet the critics and that yes, we do have the right to use “ice cream” as our chosen description of even our non-dairy treats.
Still reading? Good job. Thanks for staying with me this far. I know this has been a long post, but we’re optimistic about the fate of Wheeler’s Frozen Dessert Company in 2008, and are very grateful for the support and encouragement we’ve received so far. Thanks you, guys. Your regularly scheduled vegan ice cream posts will return shortly.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Hello ice cream fans!