Gelato Blue switched to a 100 per cent plant-based menu on Easter Saturday. It's a change the family-owned store in Newtown has been edging towards for the past few years, having gradually replaced their dairy products with coconut milk-based items in a response to customer demand.
Store manager Fotini Platis says there are many reasons why Gelato Blue decided to go all-vegan (animal welfare, environmental concerns), but the driving force was to create delicious desserts accessible to everyone in the inner west.
"We wanted to create a product that anyone can enjoy," she says. "Our family lives and works in the inner west. We've had this business for the last seven years, and only started becoming aware what plant-based eating was because of our community.
"Because we are a family business, we treat our customers like family. When people were coming into the store and we had nothing to feed them, we felt just as bad as we would have if we were inviting them into our house and there was no suitable food."
Platis' father, Con Platis, is the store's gelato master and makes all the flavours in-house. Popular flavours include the mint choc-chip, espresso swirl, carrot cake and milk chocolate chip cookie.
There's also a vegan pavlova made from, umm, chickpea water. "It has a similar consistency as egg white and if you mix sugar and vanilla bean with it, you can actually make a meringue."
Don't go throwing that canned chickpea juice out then, kids. Fotini Platis says the pavlova is hugely popular with Gelato Blue's vegan customers. "It's something they usually haven't eaten in years because they couldn't find a vegan version anywhere."
318 King Street Newtown, 02 9519 0933, gelatoblue.com.au
Sun-Thu 10am-11am; Fri-Sat 10am-midnight