Vixen Kitchen Gelato
Food & Drink

How Vixen Kitchen Gelato Reinvented Ice Cream

Sundara Clark on making gelato without all the nasties

PHOTO: Jules Holdsworth

Sundara Clark started Vixen Kitchen Paleo Gelato over five years ago using nothing but cashews, maple syrup, vanilla and salt in her ice cream.

Since one of her daughters has a dairy allergy, she says she wanted to experiment with something that her daughter could enjoy and she could feel good about feeding her kids. Clark, who grew up in Santa Cruz, has since developed five flavors—vanilla, chocolate, coffee, chai, and mint—all organic, gluten free, paleo, and vegan.

I bet you have so much gelato in your freezer at home.

CLARK: I don’t have any pints, but at one point I had 59 1.5 gallon tubs in a giant freezer in my garage. They are great for school events or weddings, and my daughter is doing a great job at eating the mint one—sometimes I let her eat it for breakfast. But we will be working on those tubs well into 2020. I use cashews for the gelato, and unfortunately my husband developed a nut allergy recently, maybe from eating so many cashews in the last few years. So now he can’t eat any of my gelato. He’s really not helping us at all with those tubs.

Any new flavors coming up?

I want to do more ice cream with chunks in it, like caramel swirl or cookie dough, and I really want to do a functional mushroom one like chaga or reishi. Everyone asks me to do matcha, which I’ve experimented with. I’ve done some strange other flavors, like basil-strawberry. I really want to do ice cream bars, and I’m playing around with zero sugar sweeteners right now, like monk fruit, because there are so many people that don’t eat sugars. I’ll go to Staff of Life and experiment with the sugar alternatives. It would be nice to have an option for people. It’s hard. I feel like I have to reinvent it all, but I’ve done it before so we’ll see.

Would you ever want to open a shop?

Yes, I actually looked at Abbott Square, but it didn’t work out financially. I really would love to have a cart, with, like, a cute umbrella that I could wheel around. I’ve been looking around, but am just doing wholesale for now.

Vixen Kitchen Paleo Gelato is available at Staff of Life, the Westside New Leaf and Whole Foods.

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