Maddalena Easterbrook was working as a journalist, running the phone lines on talkback radio when she had an idea that would change her whole life: vegan soft serve ice cream made from oat milk.
“I’m vegan and I am really passionate about creating really compelling and delicious vegan alternatives for treats that people already know and love,” she told Region.
“And that’s mostly because I really believe in the environmental benefits of choosing plant-based.”
Maddalena explained that while plenty of coconut and soy-based ice cream alternatives exist, oat milk has only gained popularity in the last few years. She found oat milk was the best option for making a soft serve with a more neutral flavour and it fitted with her aim to source locally grown products.
“I really wanted to embrace organic [ingredients] and sustainability in everything that I do.”
Maddalena makes vanilla and chocolate-flavoured soft serve from scratch every day, which she describes as a “huge undertaking”.
Making ice cream requires both culinary and scientific skills. It took six months of trialling, testing and going back to her Year 12 chemistry textbooks to get the taste, texture and consistency juuuust right.
The number one taste tester for Future Swirl was Maddalena’s Dad, whom she describes as a “meat for every meal” kind of guy. Maddalena knew that if she could get her Dad on board, she’d have a product with mass appeal.
“He was brutal on my earlier attempts!” she laughs.
“But I just kept working at it … then finally he gave us the ‘Trev tick of approval’, and here we are.”
Trev lent his support during the busy Summernats weekend and even converted a few sceptics to the joys of oat milk!
Maddalena has created a great product that has all the nostalgia of a classic soft serve with a subtle oat-y aftertaste. Have it served in a cup or cone, and take your pick of the different toppings. Maddalena says that the biscoff sauce is her favourite. The spiced biscuit flavour is a Belgian delicacy steadily gaining popularity worldwide. Those looking to relive childhood memories might opt for chocolate sauce or 100s and 1000s!
It was a 35-degree day when I visited Future Swirl, so the conditions were perfect for tasting ice cream! I brought along a friend who has been lactose intolerant for over 15 years: that’s a long time without a soft-serve cone. He was delighted to have so many options to try and went back for a milkshake after gobbling up his half-chocolate, half-vanilla cone.
The Future Swirl trailer has been in operation for about two months, popping up at markets around town. Maddalena currently parks on the corner of the Waves Car Wash in Braddon, next to Little Phat Rolls: another vegan-friendly food truck business! She’s also working on a winter menu to ensure the business can serve people year-round.
So far, the career swap is paying off.
Maddalena says she’s really enjoying the work and has formed some valuable relationships with other business owners around Braddon who have been really supportive and welcoming of the young entrepreneur. And serving ice cream is an overwhelmingly positive experience because she gets to make people happy every day.
“I didn’t appreciate it when I started, but it’s literally the best job ever!”
Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.