The brainchild of Faiza Shaikh, Mrs N’s Creamery is a home based e-business that offers delicious gourmet ice creams. Faiza Shaikh learnt the art of bespoke ice cream making from Pennsylvania State University and brought back premium quality ice cream making techniques to Lahore. The menu consists of a distinctive array of flavours such as Turkish Rose, Arq-e-Gulab and Lavender with Blueberry. Faiza shares her fondest memory associated with ice cream, things that make Mr N’s Creamery unique and the one flavour she always reaches out for
How did you venture into the business?
Initially, I was just interested in learning how to make ice cream for family and friends. I started receiving positive feedback once I got the hang of it. Everyone loved the flavours and I eventually started receiving requests and orders. The love for ice cream making combined with the support of friends and family led to what is now known as Mr N’s Creamery.
Where do you derive inspiration from?
My inspiration was simply my love for ice cream. Wherever I go, I make sure to check out the best ice cream places that are around. Since I couldn’t get the type of ice creams that I enjoy on my trips overseas, I thought I should learn the art myself. It came to my knowledge that Penn State University in the US offers a course on ice cream making. I took the course and it totally changed my understanding of ice cream making. I came back and started experimenting with ingredients until I could make ice creams that tasted as good as the ones I had eaten abroad. I am a perfectionist, so I am very picky with each and every ingredient that I use. The great feedback that I get makes it all worthwhile.
How is homemade ice cream different from store bought ice cream?
The best ice creams are not mass produced; boutique operations produce premium ice creams. These ice creams are exceptionally good because of the creamy richness and the use of all-natural flavours. Ice creams that come from manufacturing have lower fat contents and rely on flavour additives. If you love ice cream, you can easily tell the difference by the way the ice cream melts and dissipates its flavour. Low fat ice creams feel colder and have narrow taste bands. Super-premium however, gives an experience of a bouquet of notes as the ice cream melts in your mouth without the uncomfortable icy cold feeling.
What flavour do you like the most?
It keeps changing; I like trying new flavours all the time, it really helps with my work. I avoid mono flavours; these are flavours that have a single strong note. I like flavours that have a rich blend of notes.
What differentiates your offerings from those similar in the business?
For me, attending the Penn State course was a game changer. The ice cream making process is very sensitive to ingredient ratios, mixing methods, timings and the freezing process. I feel that the level of control on the final product that I am able to get with the procedures (that I learnt at Penn State) make a huge difference in the quality of the ice creams that I offer. I am focused on super-premium ice creams, which are the creamiest and most flavour rich ice creams that are out there.
You have introduced a very unique set of flavours to the Lahori palette; do you think people will be receptive to it?
People in Lahore love food. I doubt any other city has eateries as good as Lahore. I have come to know that the people who have tried my ice creams love rich, creamy flavours. The best part about all of this is that my patrons keep coming back with more orders, which for me is incredible. I do have customers that always order the usual but interestingly, a lot of people are very open to trying out new flavours here in Lahore.
Other than your own, which is your favourite ice cream brand?
It’s hard to name one. Being an ice cream geek I am always up for trying out new flavours and textures rather than opting for the same ones over and over again. However there is one particular flavour that I often reach out for and it is Berkey Creamery’s Vanilla Bean.
What is the throwback time for orders?
We make ice creams everyday but in case the particular flavour isn’t available, I would say it is best if the order is placed a few days in advance.
What do you like to do when you’re not busy making ice cream?
I love caring for my kids; I am also keen on spending quality time with my friends and family.
What is your favourite ice cream pairing?
It’s lavender with blueberry, I like the dominating floral note with a mild blend of berry to compliment it.
Since you are targeting such a niche segment, do you plan on introducing vegan ice cream too?
Yes! We will but not this year, for sure. I’ve recently introduced stevia based ice creams which is a calorie free substitute for sugar and by far the response has been overwhelming.
What is the earliest memory you have associated with ice cream?
There are so many happy moments with ice cream that it would be unfair to mention just one but the earliest memory would be the ice cream guy standing outside the house with his ice cream cart and me picking up my vanilla stick and savouring each moment not realising I had spent 15 minutes eating one single ice cream bar.
Why ice cream?
Is there anything better than ice cream? Who doesn’t have great memories of having ice cream – it’s the universal feel good food!