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Today we drove all the way to the Mcarthur Glen outlet for vegan ice cream. Most places have vegan ice cream options using coconut milk, however this was the first soley vegan ice cream shop in town. We would later learn that despite it being vegan, it wasn’t emphasized as such. We were able to connect with the owner, who told us that they purposely pitched the product as being “lactose free” ice cream as it is a friendlier message. Sometimes the word “vegan” can and does scare people away.
This critique will be written in my perspective, as a non vegan having vegan ice cream for the first time. Having had milk and cream based ice creams I had a comparison point. On the flip side, having similar non dairy ice creams all her life, my vegan guest enjoyed what she had and definitely wanted more.

As the ice creams were plant based, I naturally missed the creaminess that milk brings out in. But even though I didn’t appreciate it as much, there was definitely a market for “Nice Vice’s” ice creams. They were busy. Guest after guest, a line through the door after us. I guest their “lactose-free” marketing worked. I can only imagine living without being able to enjoy ice cream. Ice cream is my favourite dessert. I know a few individuals who are lactose in tolerate, and they often brave the consequences their bowels have to face, in order to have a taste of regular milk based ice creams. And they often tell me it’s worth it past gripping yet satisfying stomach pains. So here was a shoppe offering pain free ice cream consumption, so naturally they would do well. As with all successful businesses they identified a need and gave it to the people. And the people in turn really did want their product.

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For once my vegan guest could actually sample everything on the menu. She was delighted and even asked if there was limit to all the samples one can try. To see her so excited, who could deny her? For the first time in her all vegan life she sampled all the ice cream in an ice cream shop. Each taste was served on the end of a wooden spoon. Each taste made her decision harder.

Their flavours vary daily. Today there was watermelon, lemon head, chocoholics anonymous, blue berry, tripped out tropical, banana fudge, peach, and strawberry. The menu was wooden tabs on metallic line. Under it was their cooler filled with ice cream. To its right was a cone dispenser and a stack of recycled cardboard cups. That and a cash register is all they really needed.

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However the space was very large. It looked undone, like they just moved it, and were a few diy projects short. Which made sense considering they were a pop up and only here for the summer season. So in wait for that time, the excess space was used as a gift shop and a pit stop of sorts. A hovering shelf of ice cream themed books to browse through as you lick your treat. A pastel potted plant garden to bring life to the space. “Nice Vice” branded baseball tees and logo embroidered ball caps for sale. And they even hung up framed photos to make the place more homey.

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Two scoops of avocado and buzz’d coffee. Their names delivered a lighter version of their flavour promise.

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The coconut vanilla tasted like coconut milk, it was very refreshing. Great for those who don’t enjoy a sweet ice cream, but still want to keep it dessert-like.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Overall I found they all weren’t creamy enough for me, which would make sense since I was comparing them to regular ice cream. The flavours were spot on to their names, I just couldn’t get past the fact that they tasted like churned flavoured water, to actually enjoy them. I would recommend them, but I personally would not go back to have them. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

NICE VICE
Pop up shop at the McAuthor Glen Outlet
1000-7899 Templeton Station Road, Richmond BC, V7B 0B7
nicevicecream.com