Keeping it Cool on Great Barrier Island
Just when you thought life on Great Barrier Island couldn't get any better...
Voila! - Local resident Janene Hunsdale decides to produce the best damned ice cream treats you could imagine, and make them readily available for delicious frozen confectionery lovers around the island to savour.
As a child, one of the hardest choices I repeatedly faced was - which flavour ice-cream this time? I invariably got it wrong... my brother's always seemed more desirable once we ooh'd & aah'd our way through the first few licks.
Sadly, nothing's changed. Only now it's my wife!
I'll be smugly demolishing my dairy-free 'Turkish Delight' made with fragrant rose-water, pistachio & honey... only to realise that although she's right beside, my wife is actually in another world. A tropical world to be precise. In her mind she's lying in a hammock, there's a cooling breeze blowing in from the reef and she can hear ukuleles softly strumming. You see she went for the 'Lime in the Coconut' and suddenly I want it! I really want it!
So just what makes these Ice Dreams so irresistible? We asked Janene to give us the low-down...
"This all came about by me experimenting with making healthier treats for the kids" she says. "I started to get encouraging comments from friends who tried them... and in the end I decided to have a stall at the Claris Club Market on Labour Weekend last year."
Here we are a little over a year later and Janene has an 'A' Certification from the Council and her home kitchen has become a frozen confectionery plant.
"Right now I'm flat out 6 days a week trying to build some stock for stall sales at the annual Great Barrier Island Garden Tour on the 28th November. I still have to keep up with the normal demand as well... currently we're selling 50 to 70 a week!"
Janene's Ice Dream range includes delicious wee tubs of chilled delight with flavours like Rum n' Raisin, Lemon, the amazing Manuka Honey & Sea Salt and Janene's own current favourite, Feijoa.
"I've done a lot of experimenting with different ingredients and I enjoy the challenge of using local fruit and products but my main focus is on our 'On-A-Stick' range. All 7 options are dairy free and except for a couple that have a little honey, have no added sugar.... refreshingly healthy!"
"The flavours include Lime in the Coconut, Turkish Delight, Ginger, Chocolate, Bye-bye Captain Bligh, Strawberry Crush and yummy Mango Crush.
I don't use any artificial flavours or essences so they're great for kids!"
So where can you get yourself a Janene's Ice Dream? The Burger Shack has recently re-branded as 'Swallow'... you'll find them beside Aotea FM in Claris... they stock the full range and you can take it from me... nothing compliments one of their famous burgers better than an Ice Dream.
In Tryphena, you'll find them on sale at the Stonewall Village Store. On a Saturday morning you just may meet the lovely Janene herself at her market stall... A great opportunity to try new flavours and purchase current specials etc.
As Janene says... "I get a real kick out of seeing the enjoyment people can get out of a $5 purchase."
There's certainly something special about how a Janene's Ice Dream can put a smile on your face... and take you to another place!