Meet the Wānaka ice-cream makers churning out homegrown (and award-winning) boysenberry ice cream

A Wānaka freezery lives up to its name with handcrafted ice cream with pure, homegrown flavour that won the Dairy category at the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards of 2020.

Words: Cari Johnson

It’s not uncommon for Anna Howard to pair her morning coffee with a spoonful of freshly churned ice cream. Sometimes, an entire scoop will even tumble its way into her long black.

“You have to taste the product,” says Anna, co-owner of PURE New Zealand Ice Cream. “It’s quality control.”

Anna Howard enjoying the spoils of her job — and location.

Anna and her business partner bought the Wānaka freezery in 2018. It was a natural fit for the foodie-turned-entrepreneur, who milked goats and watched her mum make ricotta cheese while growing up in Akaroa. PURE NZ Ice Cream has a similarly pared-back philosophy.

“We keep things simple when it comes to our ingredient choices. We do as little as possible to these beautiful, natural ingredients to produce a premium ice cream.”

Boysenberry ice cream? The berries are grown in Nelson. Salted caramel ice cream? Marlborough flaky sea salt. The newly launched elderflower sorbet? Locals forage for the flowers just down the road from the freezery.

Judges praised the winning boysenberry ice cream for its naturally fruity flavour and creamy texture. This is no boysenberry ripple – a dark magenta ice cream bursting with rich, berry flavour. “It’s striking to look at and difficult to resist,” said one of the judges.

Anna credits its vibrant colour to the freezery’s gelato-style approach to ice cream making. The boysenberry is made without eggs or milk, which preserves the colours and natural ingredients.

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“I love the simplicity. It takes me back to being a child with a bowl of boysenberries and some cream,” she says.

“There’s a bit of a catch-phrase in the industry that we’re doing something that makes people happy. There’s a happy connection to ice cream.”

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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.

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