Posts tagged ‘local’

November 23, 2011

Feast on this!

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This holiday season snuck up on us pretty quickly, but we were ready with one of our favorite fall flavors. Pumpkin pie PhroZen hit freezers in October, and we’ve been stocking and restocking it since. The feedback has been great, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support.

So, what better way to say thank you for supporting our local small business, than by supporting another small business?? We were lucky enough to come into contact with a small farmer in the area, who happened to have grown “fairytale” pumpkins this year. That got the wheels turning, and led to the limited batch of pumpkin pie flavor PhroZen that’s out now. We processed those pumpkins into our ice cream, and couldn’t be happier with the result. Working with local businesses is pretty sweet.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year – you’ve given us even more reasons to be thankful this year. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Love.

August 25, 2011

Have you seen us lately?

Our packaging got a bit of a facelift recently. We’re moving up in the world and now have fancy new labels for our Cookies n’ No Cream, Kai’s Good Karma, Enlightened Lemon Lavender, and Mint Meditation. All of these superstars are still vegan, gluten free, peanut and tree nut free!

A great way to see our new pints in action is to pick one up at Picnic and Pantry, Meals to Go, and Park + Vine. An even BETTER way to see them would be by coming out to Park + Vine this Friday for Final Friday in Downtown Cincinnati. You could grab an ice cream sandwich and chat with the fun and always fabulous Phro*Zen ladies! Mention the secret word “facelift” and your face will get a lift with a smile because you’ll receive $.50 off your ice cream sandwich.

 We look forward to seeing our Phro*Zen fans this Friday!

July 7, 2011

Something cold, something new…

…something really tasty too! We’re heading out to another awesome Yelp! event tomorrow, and you know what we made? They’re almost too good to be true. Almost. But here they are…

They're chilly. They're vegan. They're free tomorrow night.

 Grateful Grahams made some mini grahams for these tasty little Phro*Zen sandwiches we’ll be slinging for free tomorrow evening. We hope to see you at the Yelp! event – we promise to try to save you one of these tasty little ‘wiches, but get there early because we can’t guarantee they’ll last long!

June 20, 2011

Two Phro*Zen fans that will make your heart melt.

It’s a very lucky person that finds a job that they not only love, but that they find rewarding as well, and on days when I get to see people enjoying Phro*Zen I feel like there’s no one in the world as lucky as myself. Why do I say that? Because of smiles like this:

Say, "Vegan soft serve!"

Phro*Zen is now available as soft serve at Meals To Go on Winton Rd., and I’ve had the most adorable customers (and their lovely parents!) come in for a cone.

Gluten-free goodness. Yum!

 Kai, of “Kai’s Good Karma” fame, and his little sister had an allergy-friendly, totally vegan summer treat, and they gave us pretty good reviews!

A thumbs-up from Kai! Good karma does come around.

Making ice cream is a fantastic job as it is, but I couldn’t be more grateful for our Phro*Zen fan club. Thank you all for the support, and if you’ve got Phro*Zen photos you’d like to share, send them to us at phrozenicecream@yahoo.com! Love, Meg

May 1, 2011

The First Greyhound Pets of America Benefit

Last night was the first of what I hope will be many benefits for Greyhound Pets of America, which is the greyhound adoption program that we got Ida from. Supporting the program that saves so many dogs after they’re retired from the race track was something we really wanted to do, and Derek was the guy to put it all together.

Derek and Ida. My man and my dog. Love them both.

He set everything up with Neon’s Unplugged, a bar off of Main in OTR that is dog-friendly (which gives it so many points, as do Molly Wellman’s expertly mixed cocktails). The GPA of Greater Cincinnati rounded up some troops, Derek pulled together donations from Buffalo Wild Wings, Maggiano’s, and more, and the event was on.

We wanted to support it too, since I love Ida, and Derek is my guy as well as one of our taste-testers, so we whipped up a batch of Ida’s favorite flavor of Phro*Zen – Peanut Butter Peace Train. Owners and greyhounds alike enjoyed free scoops!

"Pitt" the greyhound enjoying some Phro*Zen

“Pitt” in the photo above and her foster parent hung out very close to the cooler for much of the night. She needs adopting by the way! She’s so sweet, and definitely a cuddler, so if anyone out there is thinking about a dog, please consider Pitt!

While the night was full of good food, fun conversations, and plenty of  new dogs and people to meet, it was really all about getting these dogs into safe and loving homes after they’ve been on the race track. The donations received from the silent auctions, donation buckets, etc., will all be put toward getting more pups like our Ida off of the track and into a family. We’re so glad to have her, and we were so excited to see more happy party animals out at Neon’s last night – we loved the greyhounds too!

The greyhounds and their owners out on the bocce ball lawn.

April 26, 2011

A ticket to good taste: Please and Phro*Zen tasting dinner

Hello there friends! We’ve been busy. With what, you ask? Oh, you’ll see. But first, let me tell you about a little event we’re hosting along with Park+Vine, and Please catering.

Saturday May 14th 6p.m.

Park+Vine on Main St.

If you buy your ticket (there are a limited number to keep it fire code friendly of course), you’ll be joining some fellow tasters in a completely vegan experience including Phro*Zen ice cream, complimentary culinary creations by Please, and coffee pairings provided by Park+Vine.

That’s right. An entirely vegan upscale ice cream social of sorts. I’m not going to give away any of the flavor combinations or anything, but believe me, you’ll want to be there. If you read our post about Please’s dinner on April 1st, you know it’ll be an experience you and your tastebuds won’t soon forget.

So where do you get your ticker? Park+Vine of course! Go down and head to the register, where you can buy your ticket and say hello to a friendly P+V associate. Join us, won’t you Please? ; )

More soon my dears! For now, love, Meg.

April 8, 2011

April’s Please dinner: six courses and a five-star experience

April 1st was a big day for us – it marked the first day of my birthday month (yes, I celebrate all month darn it.), the day we found out we had been named Best Vegan Dessert in Cincinnati for 2011 by CityBeat, and it was the day Derek and I attended Please catering’s dinner that featured Phro*Zen as an amuse bouche. Needless to say, I was pretty excited about the whole thing.

As per the request of the chef, Ryan, who orchestrated the menu, I created a fennel vegan ice cream. Not being a fan of fennel, the experimentation process was a bit of a challenge, but Ryan was happy with what I came up with, so I made a bunch of it and brought it to the dinner. After dropping the ice cream off to the chef hard at work in the kitchen downstairs, Derek and I went upstairs to the space where the dinner was to be held. We were greeted with favors on a side table, carefully arranged by Rosie, who owns The Brush Factory boutique with locations in Brighton and Oakley.

 

Favors of seed cones to welcome guests and spring.

The space itself was open and beautiful, and had a view of the city that I love so much that made for a perfect backdrop as the evening began. The table was set and ready for guests to sit down to enjoy a few drinks and conversations before the dinner began.

Before guests arrived. It gets considerably more crowded with conversations and "mmm"s.

The attention to detail was already apparent in the place settings and favor table, and was carried over to a greater extent in the menu. A copy of the menu was provided at each setting, and gave guests a preview of what they’d be tasting. First up? Phro*Zen.

Our fennel flavored Phro*Zen created for Please's dinner.

After being named the best vegan dessert in Cincy, I can’t say I wasn’t a little nervous to see everyone’s reaction to an often disliked anise flavor. It’s like licorice, or those little Christmas cookies, and a whole lot of people (myself included) aren’t fans. Ryan being the artist that he is, however, was able to pair it with exactly the right flavors to make it something everyone enjoyed – I did immensely! A scoop of anise flavored Phro*Zen was placed atop a plate of “coffee soil,” and drizzled with sesame oil. What is coffee soil? I’m not sure exactly, but it was sort of like a coffee cookie crumb. In short, the combination was delicious, and totally changed my view of what anise should taste like.

The night continued with five more courses, all crafted to highlight the unique flavor of each ingredient, many of which were chosen for their seasonality and local availability.

We stayed at the table for hours, while Ryan presented each dish, and everyone enjoyed the food and the company. We even stayed past the meal’s finish, which was a completely delicious take on peanut butter and celery. I’ll never think of that snack in the same way again. Ryan came up to visit with the dinner guests after he was finished with everything in the kitchen, and we all got to munch on extra goodies leftover from our favorite courses (we had seconds of the Phro*Zen to my delight).

The menu, which you can see more of on Please’s Facebook page, was unforgettable, and wrapped everyone in an experience that allowed us to explore some different food, some interesting combinations, and some lively conversation for an entire evening worthy of repeat. We’re proud to say that Please is coming to Cincinnati in May, and we’ll be working with Ryan on a dinner, the details of which are to come. Love.

April 5, 2011

April’s Feature Flavor: “Earthly Delights” feat. Grateful Grahams

It’s April, meaning Earth month has arrived, and we wanted to get into the spirit of appreciation for all things earthy with this month’s feature flavor. We collaborated with Grateful Grahams to create a play on “Mississippi mud,” and came up with “Earthly Delights.”

Chocolate Grateful Grahams. Yes, the bag is almost empty. Yes, I had something to do with that.

The ice cream flavor is pretty simple – it’s a plain vanilla – but it’s chock full of some really good stuff, sorta like our planet here. We whipped up some dark mocha frosting, chopped some roasted walnuts and chocolate chunks,  crumbled up chocolate Grateful Grahams, and threw it all in to create one tasty mix.

Celebrate Earth month with us this month and every month! When you’re done diving into your pint, please toss it into the recycling bin. Or, do what we’re doing, and start your spring seedlings in your empty pint! Wash it out first, of course. We may love eating Phro*Zen, but plants probably do better with some sunlight and soil. Happy Earth month everyone!

March 27, 2011

Local Business We Love: Sweet Peace Bakery

Hey all you lovely people! We hope everyone has had a relaxing weekend. We’ve been hard at work in the kitchen prepping for some events coming up, but we wanted to share our interview with another of our favorite local businesses – Sweet Peace Bakery! If you haven’t checked out these vegan goodies, you can grab them at Park+Vine, where you can pick up a pint of Phro*Zen to eat along with them 🙂 Anyway, I’ll let you read more about this fabulous bakery run by one sweet woman.
So, first of all, introduce yourself – what’s your name, and what do you do?

My name is Mary Beth King. By day I am the campaign manager for Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati and then I bake up the vegan goodness out of the Sweet Peace Bakery kitchen and occasionally teach a yoga class.

Q: What inspired you to start your business?

Mary Beth: I became vegan about 5 years ago, maybe more… who’s counting right? Upon becoming vegan I soon realized that my dessert options were few and far between. So, I started baking. I love dessert and couldn’t see not having sweets in my life. I was also going to vegan potlucks sharing the desserts I’d made. It then dawned on me that vegans other than myself shared my cravings for dessert. Thus, Sweet Peace Bakery was born.

Q: What are some of the challenges or opportunities you’ve come upon in regards to your business?

Mary Beth: Some of my favorite things about having a bakery (business) is the opportunity to meet new people, talk about veganism, and most importantly to me, give back. I have donated items recently to an Eve Center event, Habitat for Humanity, Sycamore Schools, and Ohio Citizen and Action. I’m not always in a position to donate baked goods, but always do what I can.

Q: I know I’ve definitely got some favorite Sweet Peace treats – “Betterfingers” are one of those favs. Do you have a favorite?

Mary Beth: My favorited thing to do is fill private orders. I put love into everything I bake, there is something special about knowing that my baked goods are going to a wedding or a birthday or anything really to celebrate a joyous event.

Q: The “Betterfingers” are sort of a replacement for Butterfingers, right? Are there any other “substitutes” (that we often think are much tastier!) that you make? What has the response to those vegan options been like?

Mary Beth: I have the Oatmeal Dream Pie, replacing the Oatmeal Cream Pie and a Voreo being a more cake/cookie Oreo. I sell quite a few of them!

Q: Finally, a little more about you – are there some things unique to Cincinnati that you really enjoy? Do you have any favorite vegan spots around town, or favortie vegan dishes people might not have tried yet?

Mary Beth: Look out for the Sweet Peace VW Bus coming soon! It should make it’s way around Cincinnati this summer.

I spend a lot of time supporting the arts and other local non profits. I have season tickets to the Aronoff Broadway Series, do all the Know Theatre shows and try to catch whatever else is happening theaterwise and Ensemble and Shakespeare.

I love grabbing brunch at Melt or the Thai pumpkin soup at Myra’s.

March 19, 2011

From Omnivore to Meat-No-More: An Interview With a Crabby Vegan

We know not everyone who reads this is vegan – in fact, not everyone who writes this blog is vegan (namely Meg). But, whatever my eating habits may be, I do want to understand more about food and what it means to people, whether they’re vegan or not. After all, it’s our goal to create an ice cream that anyone, no matter their diet habits or restrictions, will enjoy, so you’ll see interviews with people from all different backgrounds here to help round out our foodie education.

For anyone who hasn’t tried a vegan diet, it’s probably pretty difficult to understand exactly what that would entail. Well for all of the omnivores out there, next time you’re at the grocery store, try looking for strcitly vegan foods. There are some obvious “no-nos” if you’re vegan – stay away from the dairy case, and the deli – but take a look at the back of that box of cookies, too. That long list of ingredients probably includes a whole lot of non-vegan stuff that vegans have to watch out for. That pasta? Might have some of those ingredients too.

Brian, a fellow Cincinnatian and blogger, has made the switch from omnivore to vegan, and he’s run into more challenges than you can find in the grocery aisles. He blogs about what it’s been like for him to shift to the vegan diet, why he did it, and much more – but I’ll let him tell you more about it for himself.

Q: For those that haven’t read your blog yet, give us a little background. When did you become a vegan? 

Brian: I became vegan in April of 2010. I changed over from a full on Omnivorous lifestyle. I literally changed overnight from eating meat, cheese, drinking milk, and avoiding most vegetables like the plague. I tend to overdo things, so instead of trying to phase into it, I stopped all animal based products when I returned from a trip to Colorado. From the next day on, I began the process of figuring out what exactly I got myself into.

Q: What was the inspiration behind making that change? 

Brian: My wife was 4 months into Yoga certification training, and had already given up red meat, and was moving towards a vegetarian diet. She had been enlightening me to the concept of “Ahimsa” and bringing to my attention the real workings of the meat and dairy industry. I’ll admit, I was pretty sure those industries were not squeaky clean, but I’ve always been of the mindset that meat and milk come from a grocery store, and thats about all I needed to know.   

Q: Have you faced challenges with adhering to a vegan diet?

Brian: I have and continue to face them. When I started, I had no idea what I was doing, so I was first challenged with what I could eat. I spent about two weeks eating PB&J and pasta. Granted, PB&J is probably the worlds perfect food, but I was sure I could not keep eating it. Over time we learned how to cook and shop, and have begun to amass a library of things to make. But it is still a challenge, as food in general is not a simple as it once was. 

I was surprised at how little I missed milk, and how much I missed things like hot dogs and hamburgers. I’ve been seeking to replicate and find the perfect substitute for them, but realize that those are not going to leave me satisfied, and I need to find other things I love, instead of trying to reproduce the old desires. 

Q: Have you experienced any positives associated with veganism?

Brian: I feel healthier, and I dont have diners remorse. I did in fact love fast food, but would literally feel ill at times after picking something up that sounded good at the time. In December I had noted that I had lost 30 lbs since adopting the new dietary lifestyle. I have a greater appreciation for Organic food, and am now seeking out how we can eliminate preservatives and artificial ingredients completely from our diet. I’m better educated about what goes into food, and the myths of why we need dairy. I feel at least I am not contributing to industries that are preying on the fact that our nation is and will continue down a path of gluttony. Oh and I’ve met some cool chicks.

Q: Are there things that you miss aside from certain foods that you miss about being an omnivore?

Brian: I travel quite a bit, and I miss being able to go out to dinner, and order a meal without just settling for the one thing on the menu that is or can be easily veganized. I miss going to my wifes inlaws for Sunday dinner and having to eat “around” the items that were cooked. I miss the convenience.  

Q: What’s one thing someone who is vegan should know about those who aren’t? 

Brian: I think that most people who are not vegan have no idea why anyone would want to become vegan, nor would they be aware of the ideals that the vegan has adopted. So I treat anyone who would challenge me with smiles and respect. They don’t know me or anything about me, so I will give the benefit of the doubt, and happily explain my position. I don’t judge, or pass judgement. This is my choice, my life.

Q: What’s one thing that someone who isn’t vegan should know about being vegan?

Brian: I’ve learned to view this like anyone else who has a personal lifestyle that may not align with mine to simply respect another persons lifestyle. And we aren’t all flaming liberals. But most of us probably are.

Q: What would you like people to know about the vegan lifestyle?

Brian: I think you can guess the theme of my comments, and it is really about respect first. I’m not a preacher, and tend not to bring my personal opinions on how others choose to life their lives. I realize just because everyone does something, doesn’t imply that it is right, but since I tend not to try and sell my lifestyle, I just ask that others do the same. I would offer to others that I am just like them, I just choose to make different decisions when it comes to dining, shopping, etc. Its hard to pick us out from a crowd. We are like real people.

Q: Are there issues concerning the vegan lifestyle that you find surprising? exciting? confusing? 

Brian: I have a friend who eats meat/dairy but does so in a somewhat responsible manner. He buys his meat from a local farm, drives almost an hour to another farm for his milk, and pays upwards of $4 for a dozen of organic eggs, that I suspect are laid by chickens hanging out by the pool, and reading trashy romance novels. OK, the meat still results in the death of the animal. The milk? Well I didnt ask if it was given up freely by cows who who got pregnant because they were promiscuous. But if the chickens are really living the good life, why not enjoy their product? But then is that exploitation the problem? 

Am I really making a difference by avoiding the whole wheat bread from Subway because it has honey? Is this better for me than the vegan choice of Italian? Would honey as a sweetener server me better that high fructose corn syrup? 

A friend of mine has been vegan for 20+ years but he eats honey. Perhaps by some he would have to give back the vegan membership card. 

Q: Anything else you’d like to add? A favorite vegan dish you can find here in Cincinnati? A favorite recipe? 

Brian: I could go on and on here, but since we are head there tonight, I should point out that I love Skyline, as it was probably the only place that I continued to frequent before and after turning vegan. I was happy to find out there pasta is vegan, so having a 5-way with veg chili (no cheese) is one of my fav’s. Besides that, Melt, Amma’s Kitchen, and now Shanghai Mama’s are our current fav’s in the city.

To read more about Brian’s experience, keep up with him on his blog: http://crabbyvegan.blogspot.com/

He’s also listed on our blogroll at the bottom of the page, and he’s on twitter! @CrabbyVegan

I’ll write again soon! Enjoy the weekend! Love.