Restaurant Review: NadaMoo!
NadaMoo! is Austin's own vegan ice-cream alternative
Reviewed by Kate Thornberry, Fri., May 29, 2009
NadaMoo! is Austin's own vegan ice-cream alternative, made from coconut cream, agave nectar, and premium, organic ingredients. Because it's made with the cream of the coconut, it retains the saturated-fat mouthfeel of ice cream while remaining dairy- and gluten-free. Sweetened with agave nectar, NadaMoo! has roughly half the fat and calories not only of ice cream but of similar alternative products. It has been a resounding success here in Austin and is proving to be so popular in other Western markets that this small Austin company is poised to go national: The May orders alone for NadaMoo! were for as much product as was made and sold by the company in the first two years combined.
"We have spent years perfecting the recipes, designing our packaging, finding the right facilities, getting our certifications [kosher, gluten-free, U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic]. It feels like we have done the training and are finally at the Olympics!" says founder Amy Ramm.
Originally a trained pastry chef, Ramm began experimenting with wheat- and dairy-free desserts when her sister, Katy, was diagnosed with a crippling array of food allergies. When Ramm concocted an ice cream for Katy using coconut cream and agave nectar, she knew she had hit on something extraordinary even before she poured it into her ice-cream maker.
She started out selling the frozen vegan treat at Daily Juice, and in a short time, she got a phone call from Whole Foods asking her if she might be interested in packing it into pints for sale at the Fifth and Lamar store. "I thought they were calling me to ask me to do a flavor for the gelato stand," laughs Ramm. "I had no idea they were willing to take me to the next level." Whole Foods continues to be enthusiastic; there are plans to carry NadaMoo! in all of its stores as soon as the young company can meet demand.
NadaMoo! is currently available in five flavors – mint chocolate chip, chocolate, maple pecan, vanilla, and coconut – and this summer will see the debut of Java Crunch. (Available at all area Central Market and Whole Foods locations, Daily Juice, Wheatsville, Royal Blue Grocery, Whip In, and Fresh Plus.)