Beachy Cream Organic Ice Cream is the health-conscious ice cream lover's dream. Ann Ryan, the company's founder, built up her brand by finding the best ingredients (and the healthiest cows) in her locality.
Organic Authority recently got to interview Ann Ryan, founder and president of Beachy Cream Organic Ice Cream about how she founded the company, about her company’s product, and the company’s future plans.
Organic Authority: Can you tell us why consumers are requesting more organic, artisanal ice cream options?
Ann Ryan: Today customers are more conscious of what goes into their food. There’s tremendous concern over GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. Knowing that by choosing a certified organic ice cream one can avoid all of that gives them the assurance that they’re getting the most wholesome, healthful product possible. And then add to that small-batch production and unique flavors -- it’s a new kind of ice cream experience.
OA: Tell us about "the animals behind the brand" and how the company's ice cream is organic.
AR: All of the dairy products used in Beachy Cream's ice cream come from Straus Family Creamery -- the first 100 percent organic certified creamery in the country! We have visited the dairy and creamery, and met all of our very well cared for cows! We flavor our ice creams with handmade syrups using only organic ingredients, such as fresh mint, ginger, and strawberries from the local farmers market.
OA: What made you style the "Beachy Cream Girls" the way you did? To get eyes on the brand, or to propel and solidify the brand's message? What are the girls' goals when going to events (what's the brand's message, etc.)?
AR: One day, shortly after starting the company, I was driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu and it struck me that it would be fun to enhance our vintage, all-American, beachy brand with real, live pinup girls who could work at events and be our brand ambassadors. The girls are all well versed in the importance of the organic attributes of our products, and their enthusiasm is a catalyst for people to try our ice cream.
OA: Do you think the organic ice cream "trend" will spread across the U.S. this spring into summer? If so, what should people in other states look out for when looking for a brand to try?
AR: The “trend” is best defined as a movement of consumers who want to know where their food comes from, and we at Beachy Cream want to be at the forefront. Eating organic food is not a fad; it’s a responsible way to feed yourself and your family.
I read a lot about organic food companies, and when I’m shopping at a grocery store, I look for certified organic brands. There’s a lot of confusion for consumers over “natural” vs. organic. There is no regulated definition for “natural” (except for meat and poultry), so when a processed food is labeled natural, it can still contain GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. Certified organic is your only assurance that you are not getting all of that junk in your food.
OA: Can you tell us what some of your best-selling products are? Flavors?
AR: Our brand was established with our ice cream sandwiches, and flavors like Strawberry Surfer Girl (strawberry balsamic ice cream on sugar cookies) and Key Lime Cowabunga (key lime ice cream on coconut oatmeal cookies) are favorites. Our pints are our newest addition, and our Fresh Mint Brownie Chunk (made with fresh mint from the farmers market and handmade brownie chunks) and Coffee Toffee (made with Groundwork Coffee’s “Bitches Brew” and handmade toffee) are best-sellers.
OA: How is it working as a mother-daughter team? What's a workday like and how do you divvy up the duties?
AR: It’s wonderful! We get a lot of inspiration and ideas from each other. Beth handles sales and marketing and I oversee operations and finances.
OA: How do you run your store -- is it different than other ice cream shops? What makes customers want to stop in and spend time in your store?
AR: The décor of the store was inspired by my memories of Wil Wright’s -- a small local chain of classically styled ice cream parlors I loved when I was growing up. But what really sets us apart is our flavors, which I crafted to taste the way I wanted ice cream to taste -- not just sweet and creamy, but with a real punch of concentrated flavor. We accomplish this by making our own flavor syrups, from scratch, using the best 100 percent organic ingredients – and a lot of them!
Related on Organic Authority
Images: Beachy Cream