The first thought when temperatures rise is to have something that soothes the heat, and the obvious choice that one makes from a variety of options available is ice cream. Apart from this, the delicious concoction makes one happy, and lightens stressed faces.
To elevate the gustatory experience, businesses are broadening the flavor horizon by adding real natural products like berries, and other fruit pieces. These hand-made and organic flavors are attracting huge demand in the market and are currently setting a trend among cold comfort lovers.
One such company crafting a unique farm-to-cone experience for its customers is Azucar Ice Cream based in Little Havana since 2011. The idea of turning around the dessert experience for people and making them run down the cultural memory lane while consuming it was translated into reality by the efforts of its Owner and Founder – Suzy Batlle. She immensely cares to curate a memorable experience full of fresh ingredients that fill her customers with nostalgia.
Let us dive into the interview highlights below to experience these natural ice cream ideas and the story behind them!
Please brief our audience about Azucar Ice Cream and tell us the story behind its establishment.
I was originally a banker for 20 years, in 2008 the banking industry plummeted and I was laid off. My children told me to open an ice cream store. I thought it was a dull idea. I became a real estate agent with ice cream in the back of my mind.
I decided to go for it, so, I attended a world-renowned ice cream school at Penn State University and another Ice cream school in St. Louis.
I came back to open Azucar Ice Cream in the heart of Little Havana in 2011 and was the first of its kind Homemade Cuban Ice Cream.
Azucar Ice Cream is a premium artisanal ice cream, we aim to sell our ice cream Nationally. The taste alone will give you a cultural experience. Made from fruits purveyed in Redlands from farmers.
It’s a true farm-to-cone experience.
Please discuss Azucar Ice Cream brand’s franchise. Also, tell us about how you are planning to expand it.
We have expanded into the Dallas, Texas market with much success. It is the same demographic as South Florida. The ice cream is enjoyed by all including Latin cultures. I am currently opening my second store in Miami in an area called Pinecrest.
We are shipping Nationally through a company called Goldbelly.
Tell us more about your product offerings. And what makes them stand out from the other ice-cream brands in the market?
What makes our product stand out is that it is made every day fresh.
We are a true “farm to cone” ice cream company. We have a trademarked flavour called “Abuela Maria’, which is guava, cream cheese and Maria crackers. It is a Cuban favorite and plays with the nostalgic profiles of the past with a twist in ice cream.
We have excelled in the market by providing artisanal ice cream with great care for fresh ingredients.
How are modern technology solutions enabling you to improve your operations and offerings?
My next step is to become automated. We are still making the ice cream in small batches.
In your view, what are the existing challenges in your industry, and how are you strategizing your company’s operations to tackle them in the near future?
The challenges currently are the cost of the raw product, shipping problems and inflation. When the country is tight it is less likely that guests will spend on artisanal ice cream.
Also, as a small business we have to be able to compete with large businesses in pay, and insurance for our employees.
What would your advice be to those budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the ice cream business?
My advice to people starting out in the business is to have perseverance.
Plant a seed every day to get you to your future. Every day will bring challenges, it’s how you deal with them that counts.
How do you envision scaling Azucar’s operations and outreach in the coming future?
I feel that we could be the next Cuban Haagen Daz. The sky is the limit.
Please share testimonials from your clients/customers and a list of awards/recognitions that accurately highlight your organization’s position in the market.
I have had old Cuban men come and try our Mantecado (Cuban vanilla). They would take my hands and cry because it took them back to their homeland, Cuba. They never thought that they would taste it again.
My work takes those nostalgic tastes and brings them back to life.