Lavender and Truffles ice cream features custom spices and organic herbs

By Holly Jenvey

Plant-based ice cream brand Lavender and Truffles was founded by Alicia Liu, who wanted to create a healthier alternative to store-bought ice cream.

Lavender and Truffles is an innovative, plant-based ice cream brand that opened a pop-up parlor in Venice on November 19. The non-dairy ice cream is made with five simple ingredients and is inspired by spices and herbs that are traditionally found in the culinary dishes of Asian cultures.

Founder Alicia Liu, a self-taught cook who has over 20 years of experience working with luxury brands, decided that she would start making ice cream on her own during the pandemic.

“It started with my daughter, she eats ice cream pretty much every night,” Liu said. “So during our weekly grocery shopping trips, she would get a half gallon and have a bowl literally every night for as long as I could remember.”

However, once Liu discovered the ingredients that were in store-bought ice cream, she realized there could be a healthier alternative. Liu knew many people who were lactose-intolerant, so she started making dairy-free recipes with oat milk. She also used organic cane sugar, which is healthier than white sugar.

Currently, there are eight flavors to choose from. The most popular flavor is Ginger Turmeric, which also offers antioxidant benefits and has anti-inflammatory effects.

“I launched all eight [flavors] at the same time even during my trial and error stages, which was during the early summer,” Liu said. “I started selling it privately to friends and family back in May.”

Other flavors include: Lavender White Pepper, Sumac Roasted Strawberry, Black Tahini, Spiced Hot Cocoa, Spiced Kona Coffee, Raspberry Lemon and Mint Strawberry.

When a friend of Liu’s happened to have an open space available in Venice, that became the pop-up location for Lavender and Truffles. Liu said that her experience in working with luxury brands has prepared her for this experience with branding and merchandising. As this is her first time running her own business, she’s excited to see where it will take her.

“For me, it’s a great branding experience,” Liu said. “It’s my first brand that I own and am launching, and with all the experience that I have, I can execute from my experiences. So that’s what I’m most excited about is launching a brand and seeing how far it can go.”

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