Every week, we’re shining a spotlight on the best small brands we think are worth shouting about. We love our great British high street, but there are so many fantastic independent brands out there making clothes, accessories, homewares and more from a place of passion and love and we need to support them – now more than ever.
From fashion and beauty to homeware, accessories and food, we’ll be bringing you the best small businesses you need on your radar. This week we chat to Jess Salamanca, founder of Banana Scoops, the healthy ice cream brand.
How did Banana Scoops come about?
I initially came up with the idea of Banana Scoops about six years ago when I discovered ‘nice cream’ being made by YouTubers and healthy bloggers. It’s genuinely ice cream so healthy you can have it for breakfast! As it’s made from bananas (instead of dairy) and using natural ingredients only, I was hooked after the first homemade batch – I loved how delicious yet healthy it was.
The majority of ice creams on UK supermarket shelves are actually full of sweeteners, refined sugars and additives or chemicals. Some even have laxative effects if you eat too much in one go. I fell in love with the idea of offering a healthier, lower calorie and more natural alternative to traditional ice cream.
So in March 2019, I started making ice creams at home to sell at farmers markets around London. After selling out at pretty much all of them, I took the plunge, quit my job and began building Banana Scoops.
What 3 words would you use to describe Banana Scoops?
In 3 words, I would say delicious, healthy and fun!
What is different about Banana Scoops compared to other healthy ice cream brands?
There’s a number of reasons why we stand out against our competitors – but mainly, we offer ice cream so healthy you can have it for breakfast. What other brands can say that?
Our products are made from bananas instead of dairy, using natural and plant-based ingredients only. It’s made from mostly fruit, with no refined sugar or additives and even counts as one of your five a day. We’re also the only brand in Europe/IUK making banana-based ice cream.
How’s the ice cream itself made?
Our main selling point (the fact that we’re made from bananas, making us super innovative) is also our major down point. As a small business, being innovative is incredibly hard if you don’t have the resources to invest in technology or packaging. As you can imagine, being the only brand in Europe making ice cream from bananas means that the technology isn’t widely available. We’re very lucky to have found a great manufacturing partner based in the UK that has worked with us to develop our flavours and textures.
Luckily, with a lot of love, our ice creams are made in a very similar way to traditional ice creams – with a few tweaks and twists!
Is the brand striving to be sustainable in any ways?
This is something I’m incredibly passionate about – I want Banana Scoops to be as sustainable as possible. Our ice cream tubs are 100 per cent recyclable, where possible we use bananas that otherwise would be discarded (due to being wonky or too ripe) and we’re currently working hard to find other ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Our biggest goal is to become a B-Corp certified business in the near future.
Which flavour is your favourite?
I would have to say, raspberry! It is light and refreshing and reminds me of summer. It has a very unique taste and the combination of the two fruits (banana and raspberry) is a fantastic blend, perfect for a hot day.
Anything exciting planned for Banana Scoops in 2021?
My goal is world domination and bananas everywhere! But in the meantime, we’re working on perfecting our current flavours (I want them to be as delicious as possible), bringing out new flavours and working on our distribution to make sure Banana Scoops is available to customers.