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Joy – in a Freezing Pail of Delight

Dec/20/2021 / by Meena Azzollini
ice cream
Arshiya Shaikh and Ketki Dandekar, founders of Pints of Joy

Even though the temperature is reluctantly dropping, and you are looking forward to warming soups and casseroles, a cold ice cream dessert, especially one wrapped in traditional Indian flavors like chikkoo, butterscotch, and Alphonso mango, is something we all love and crave — no matter how cold the weather gets.

Am I right?

Ice creams have also been on the minds of two South Asian moms, ever since they lost their jobs in Fintech to Covid-19. What followed was the birth of Pints of Joy — an artisanal small-batch ice cream business that threw these two ambitious women into the world of food entrepreneurship.

Arshiya Shaikh, known as Arshi to friends, is from Abu Dhabi, has lived in Pune, India, for many years, and calls California her home since 2007. Her partner is Mumbaiite Ketki Dandekar, who has lived in California for two decades. When they met, they forged a quick friendship, especially after learning their children were schoolmates.

“We were both working in fintech, even though deep down we knew our passion lay  in working with people and making them happy,” says Shaikh. “An ice cream business brings together these elements and allows us to work on what we care about, not just for a paycheck.”

According to Shaikh, starting Pints of Joy was the coming together of their backgrounds, passions, and an unexpected opportunity that presented itself one evening when Dandekar was serving her homemade ice cream to their families.

“The families had enjoyed her ice creams before, but this time the ice cream was different. We tasted an opportunity in it,” says Shaikh. “Before we knew it, we were trying to figure out what an ice cream business looks like.”

Having grown up on some of the “creamiest, yummiest ice creams in India,” Dandekar’s ice cream reminded them of those delicious flavors. This made them wonder why their friends didn’t have access to such goodness and how they could fulfill this gap.

“This is an unfulfilled segment which lines up very well with the good-for-you food movement that the young generations really care about,” Shaikh says.

Since both women come from business families and have seen their partners establish businesses, a foray into their own entrepreneurial venture seemed only logical.

However, with no background in food or consumer business, they started learning everything from scratch.

Shaikh adds, “But we know a few things—we want to make the healthiest ice creams possible (only what we would feed our families); we trust each other to work together; we have the intention to learn what we don’t know, and the capability to figure out the unknowns.”

With that kind of mindset, resilience, and strong intentions, it’s no wonder these mompreneurs got their business off the ground in no time and started testing their products with real customers in November 2020.

Today, Pints of Joy ice creams are available in their store at Sunnyvale in California with nationwide delivery anywhere in the U.S. And that’s not all. Shaikh and Dandekar are already planning for expansion in California and the West Coast.

So, what are their ice creams like?

“Our ice creams are small-batch, handcrafted, and made only with the finest wholesome ingredients,” says Shaikh. “We make our ice creams in small batches so that we can pay special attention to every batch of our ice cream and retain the rich creaminess.”

You’ll find typical Indian flavors like Butter Scotch, Sitaphal, Alphonso Mango, and Pistachio Kulfi along with an array of delectable ice creams inspired by foods, from Gulab Jamun, Falooda, Meetha Paan, and Rasmalai to Salted Guava, Tiramisu, and Blueberry Lavender.

Recently the moms introduced boozy flavors like Bourbon Toffee, Pina Colada, and Boozy Chocolate, which is strictly for adults, and an exciting new winter lineup of Pumpkin Spice, Maple Pecan, and Peppermint Cookies & Cream.

The best part is that the flavors are as authentic as they can get coming from the actual source of the flavor, whether it is fruits, herbs, drinks, or desserts. “Because we don’t use artificial flavors, essences, and colors, our ice creams give you the whole flavor experience—taste, smell, texture,” explains Shaikh.

Shaikh and Dandekar draw inspiration for their recipes from all kinds of foods around them, and they experiment a lot to come up with unique flavors made only with wholesome ingredients.

By now you must crave some Pints of Joy ice cream. That’s why Shaikh and Dandekar share these two recipes so that you can make it at home:

Maple Pecan: A Holiday Favorite

INGREDIENTS

  • 2.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup of Grade A pure maple syrup, divided
  • 1 tbsp pure maple extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup candied pecans

METHOD

  1. Coarsely chop/grind 1 cup of candied pecans in a mortar /pestle small food processor. Make sure the pecans stay large and chunky and not powdered.
  2. Combine the heavy cream, milk, ¼ cup maple syrup, maple extract, salt, and sugar.
  3. Churn this in your ice cream machine as per the instructions.
  4. Mix in the larger pecan pieces and the remaining ¼ cup of maple syrup towards the end of the ice cream-making process.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the freezer and let it stand out for 8-10 minutes before serving.
  6. Note: To enhance the maple flavor if needed, increase the maple extract quantity rather than the syrup. Excess syrup may hinder the freezing process.

Pistachio Kulfi (Ice Cream)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 whole milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup condensed milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup pistachio powder
  • 1 tbsp milk solids or mava
  • Pinch of saffron
  • ¼ cup pistachio pieces

METHOD

  1. Coarsely chop/grind ½ cup pistachios in a small food processor
  2. Pass the chopped-up pistachios through a sieve to separate out the powder and larger pieces.
  3. Combine the milk, heavy cream, cardamom powder, vanilla extract, condensed milk, sugar, pistachio powder, saffron, and milk solids in a large bowl and mix well
  4. Ideally, let this rest overnight, to have the saffron color well infused into the mixture.
  5. Churn this in your ice cream machine as per the instructions.
  6. Mix in the larger pistachio pieces towards the end of the ice cream-making process.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the freezer and let it stand out for 8-10 minutes before serving.

For more sweet entrepreneurs on SEEMA, check out Madame Vice President Ice Cream (you really won’t regret it)!