The incomparable Pleasure of Ice Creams!
Who among us has not fantasized about a bowl of delicious ice cream on a hot summer day?
The love for ice creams is indeed universal. For long when the craving struck, our only recourse was to pick out our favourite flavours from the usual set of large ice cream brands - Mother Dairy, Amul, Baskin Robbins, Kwality Wallis and the like.
But changing tastes have swept in the trend of artisanal ice cream in India. Artisanal ice cream is all about being natural. As opposed to commercial ice creams, artisanal ice creams only use natural ingredients and avoid the use of preservatives, artificial flavourings or emulsifiers. They are prepared in small batches which ensures that you get scrumptious melt-in-mouth ice cream that will have your reaching for more.
Cold Love Artisanal Ice Cream: Carefuly Formulated Creations that Entice
A bowl of ice cream is always a joy. But the delight of freshly-made creamy ice cream makes it divine! Cold Love is one of the many homegrown artisanal ice cream brands over the past few years have gained popularity largely in major Indian metros.
Currently operating in the Delhi NCR region, Cold Love offers a delectable array of flavours, both familiar and exotic. Smooth, rich and flavourful, the brand's delicious concoctions have quickly gained a following. And why not. Cold Love's offerings are all prepared with fresh, high-quality natural ingredients. They are fully vegetarian and have no preservatives, artificial flavours or additional colours. The menu changes regularly allowing the brand to offer seasonal specialities. You can sample Cold Love's amazing range in its ice cream parlours (only Delhi NCR), selected cafes and restaurants in the city and via delivery apps. The brand additionally offers direct doorstep delivery.
Quality has to be present at every single stage, from the marketing and advertising, to the cleanliness of the parlours, how it looks, in the kitchen and also in the person making the delivery and how they interact with the customer as that’s the only way the customer interacts with the brand.
Aditya Tripathi, Founder, Cold Love
How Aditya Tripathi's Cold Love Started!
- Q. Tell us about your background.
- I have a degree in economics from the London School of Economics and an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. I worked in the corporate sector, mainly in media for brands such as India Today and Outlook, I was also part of the team that brought Discovery Travel and Living to India. I have been a consultant for Mc Kinsey. I moved to the edtech industry and started my own company, I then sold that.
- Q. Why ice cream?
- For many years making ice cream has been a hobby, a passion for me. Over many years I have spent weekends in the kitchen making them. I started taking them for a few friends and got good reviews. After selling my company I started thinking about what to do next, how to turn a passion into a livelihood. Samir Kukreja, a friend of mine and a food and beverage consultant, had told me that if I had any serious thoughts about taking it forward to come to him and he would help me. He is now a consultant and a partner in Cold Love.
- Q. What was the journey towards the creation of Cold Love?
- I started by taking ice cream to people’s homes when I went over to meet them. Then a few years ago I set up a stall at a Christmas fair in Delhi and in two days I sold every bit of ice cream I had, making Rs.80,000. I had set that sale as my test. Friends and family saying my ice cream was good is one thing, but it’s when people are willing to pay for it, that’s another thing. And that’s when I decided to pursue it.
- Q. What makes Cold Love different from other ice cream companies?
- The natural ingredients and the demographic we are targeting. We are positioning ourselves as a more adult ice cream brand. There are no bright colours, our ice creams have softer pastel tones, a few of them have alcohol, because we are targeting adults as opposed to children. Of course there are some flavours that appeal to the whole family but largely it for a more mature palate. We also have very good machines to make high quality ice cream because even if the ingredients are the same, the quality of the ice cream will be different in a not so good machine.
- Q. How else do you ensure quality?
- Quality has to be present at every single stage, from the marketing and advertising, to the cleanliness of the parlours, how it looks, in the kitchen and also in the person making the delivery and how they interact with the customer as that’s the only way the customer interacts with the brand.
- Q. How can you control the delivery process when the ice cream is transported through partners like Swiggy?
- Up to 80 per cent of the deliveries are done on our own. We have freezers in 6 different locations in Delhi, some our own, some with partners we have tied up with. .
Product Showcase: Cold Love Artisanal Ice Cream
Salted Butter Caramel
A mega hit with customers, the Salted Butter Caramel is an ice cream flavour you wouldn't have tasted before. This innovative flavour blends a unique mix of flavours - the sweetness of sugar, the lingering aftertaste from the home-made caramel and a hint of salt. You can get this delivered to your home - available in half a litre (Rs. 500) and one-litre tubs (Rs. 1,000).
This luscious option puts together three types of chocolates - rich chocolate ice cream, pieces of chocolate cake and velvety fudge sauce, resulting in a decadent and magical ice cream that will transport you with every bite. This flavour as well is available for delivery at Rs. 500 for half litre tubs and Rs. 1000 for one-litre tubs.
Cold Love changes its menu to incorporate seasonal delicacies. So be sure to check out their menu for what is new. In winter, there is the option of Boozy Baileys which features Baileys Irish Cream and caramel swirls. In summers its fruit-infused ice creams such as mango or sitaphal.
Where Can You Find Them?
Cold Love's Journey to Making A Mark
- Q. What are the challenges of using all natural ingredients?
- If you notice, most ice cream parlours have some very bright colours because of the use of food colours. Some colours are associated with certain flavours, such as green for mint, a certain shade of pink for strawberry. Although our strawberry ice cream has 25 per cent fruit, the colour is very dull because no colour has been added to it. Hence it doesn’t look as bright or attractive. Then there are many flavours that people ask for which I don’t want to make as they will require the use of essence. I am keen on doing something in mint but so far cannot get a strong enough flavour through just the leaves. Our ice creams will also cost a lot more so there is the economic challenge. On the other hand, there is a growing number of customers who want to know the source of their food and what they are eating, and they appreciate the natural ingredients.
- Q. What are some early problems that you faced and how you resolved them?
- Ice cream melting on the way to someone’s house was a problem I faced when I made it as a hobby so packing and transport is an area I have worked on from the start. The Indian cold chain is very poor and even the food delivery systems like Zomato don’t have a system for cold foods, just an insulated bag that goes in the same van that largely carries hot food. So we had to come up with ways to ensure it reaches the customer properly. More than transport it’s the packaging that has been an area of concern. We have found this interesting aluminium coated plastic bag that is somewhat insulated. We keep it in the freezer till the last minute when it is picked up for delivery. After the initial teething problems we have had very few complaints from customers.
- Q. Any interesting trial and errors that you’d care to mention?
- I try to have a mix of well known and interesting flavours that are unusual, and while most ice cream brands use a premix of flavour and colour to which they add their own milk and cream, I don’t. To top that, we only use real fruit and natural ingredients, and with that combination, a lot of disasters can happen in the kitchen! I have had inconsistencies in colour and taste, I once sent out really bitter ice cream to a friend. But these were all early teething troubles and we use friends and family as guinea pigs so our customers have never had to suffer.
- Q. How do you introduce new flavours?
- We do a lot of research and are open to a lot of ideas. When people who have had interesting flavours and combinations elsewhere and tell us about it, we run experiments internally and if it meets our quality standards then we test it in a pop up. Those that sell we keep doing or do variations of and those that don’t we take back to the drawing board. Some flavours are seasonal such as Baileys that we introduced around Christmas and which is doing very well; when rum is not even easily available in the summer. .
- Q. Do you have any professional training in ice cream making?
- None in food or cooking, making ice creams is just a passion. Although now I have a professional kitchen with lovely Italian equipment and chefs manning them.
- Q. What is your favourite flavour?
- I am partial to some but if there is a new flavour I get very excited about it and tend to have a lot of it. That said, salted butter caramel is our most popular flavour and it is what got me started.
- Q. Do you eat a lot of ice cream yourself?
- I am able to resist the temptation although I do have a sweet tooth. Now I only do tastings.
- Q. Are you only in Delhi right now, and do you intend to expand to other cities?
- We are also in Jodhpur. Our plans are one year behind schedule. This year we will stick to north Delhi and nearby states then try the big cities like Mumbai and Bangalore. Currently the sales in the North are very high during summers and dwindle during winter so we want to open in other parts of the country where ice cream is less of a seasonal thing and eaten all year round.
- Q. What’s next for Cold Love?
- This year we are preparing for the coming summer. We will pick up where we left off last year pre-Covid–start operations in other cities, opening a few parlours and reaching out to people who don’t order online.
- Q. What were your pre-Covid plans?
- We had funding and plans to grow. This started as a home operation from my kitchen and in January 2020 we moved to a professional kitchen. We had B2B tie ups with some restaurants and were in the process of opening a few parlours in February last year. The parlours were stalled by some last minute delays when Covid and the lockdown happened, and with it the B2B business went to zero. In some ways we got lucky because the parlours had not yet been started. Covid was a turning point and we had to pivot, developing a home delivery system instead.
- Upcoming flavours to look out for?
- We try and keep it simple, offering 15 flavours at a time although we have developed 30. I am working on something with tangy orange and dark chocolate.