We caught up with Georgina Terrana, owner of Vegan Ice-Cream shop – Roho Bure in Fremantle to discuss how she got started, what she loves about Freo and what’s to come for Roho Bure!
Picture by Elle Borgward
How long have you guys been open?
“We opened in August 2017. It’s been really great, we’ve had an awesome response from people far and wide!”
Are you Vegan yourself?
“I don’t eat meat or dairy, but I do eat fish from time to time. So when it comes to dessert I was always looking for Vegan options!
I am very health focused, I guess it’s one thing to be Vegan but it’s another for it to be healthy. So I suppose something that is so important to me is using carefully selected, quality, organic ingredients and keeping the sugar content to a minimum whilst not compromising on flavour. We also love to use local ingredients and our special, which is always something elaborate and changes every fortnight, is generally influenced by seasonal ingredients.
I recall so many occasions looking to go for an Ice Cream after dinner but there never being any vegan choices apart from Sorbet! So the only option was to go and buy a whole tub from the supermarket. The downside being you end up eating a whole tub of ice cream but also you miss out on the experience of going into an Ice Creamery, trying the different flavours and being able to make it truly indulgent!
When we started the main focus was Vegan but I found there was a massive calling for gluten free desserts too, so all of our ice cream is gluten free and you can purchase a gluten free cone and cookies for a Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich.”
Is it hard to keep the sugar content down when making ice-cream? What do you use?
“Some of the flavours are completely sugar free, in those flavours we use stevia and xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and its great, not only for the f you’re trying to maintain a low carb/keto diet but also if you’re diabetic as it doesn’t raise your insulin levels. It is also a pretty sustainable ingredient because our Xylitol comes from the cob of Non-GMO corn which otherwise would go to landfill as waste.
In the flavours that don’t use stevia or xylitol we use organic coconut sugar or organic maple syrup. We like the fact that it doesn’t taste overly sweet and a lot of our customers have said the same too and it lets the flavour really shine through.”
Picture by Elle Borgward
What is the base of the ice-cream if you don’t use diary?
“Some are coconut, some are cashew based, and some are a blend of the two! For example our chocolate ice-cream is made with half coconut base and half cashew base and results in a dense and creamy Ice Creamy.
I’m trying to find that balance between delicious, guilt free and as natural as possible and organic wherever I can find it.”
How did you get into this way of living?
“ My family in England adopted an organic lifestyle when I was of a very young age and it has been ingrained in me that food is a fuel for your body, and of course, the body is precious so you want to put in the best fuel you can find! I think there was a real turning point where people started to become more aware of food. My Mom was really into that and switched us to an organic and wholefoods diet which I find so easy to maintain our here owing to the abundance of organic and local produce available to us.
(at Roho Bure) We rely on a very niche market – it still is a very niche market. There’s going to be the boyfriends who are going to say, no I don’t want to go. As much as it’s great to have these vegan options it’s still very much a deterrent for some people. But once people come in and try it, so many of them are converted! Which is really nice to see, I think you know, for me I don’t preach at anyone. Going completely vegan is a massive lifestyle change for a lot of people and unfortunately with the way they’ve been raised it can be daunting so it has to be something you decide to do yourself.
However by offering a Vegan Ice Cream which is just as delicious as dairy Ice Creams at people have the option. If everyone just made small changes and if businesses like us make that easier for people to make those small changes then you’re not so tempted to give in.
If you’re only option is high sugar, dairy ice cream then that’s what you might choose.”
What were you doing before this?
“I had small businesses when I was in England which I started when I was 17 – and I did really love them. But when I moved over here I ended up going down a more corporate route, I ended up in real estate and then was in recruitment – I think I just got to a point where I realized I had moved away from what I actually enjoyed and what drives me. I hate using cliché words but – what feeds your soul! What really gets you excited, and that dread of going to work and being in an office environment. I hated being sat down all day. I love interacting with people and I truly adore my gorgeous community who have been so loyal and supportive from the moment we opened. They even give me constructive feedback which is priceless!
Our residential lease was coming to an end and I was at a crossroads with my career so this location was perfect as it solved both! At the time this was just the garage for the property above, which I live in. So we had to go through the process to get it approved to be converted into a restaurant space.”
In terms of marketing what’s worked well for you guys?
“To be honest, we only use Facebook and Instagram. They’ve been amazing! The scope for how you can reach people on Instagram is incredible, we have people coming from Mindarie or Rockingham and say they’ve seen us on Instagram. It works so well for a food business because it’s so visual. People love photographs of food.”
What’s next for Roho Bure?
“We have just put in an offer for another shop actually! And we are in the process of developing a wholesale product for people to get from different cafes and restaurants. Trying to create something that is more grab and go.
We are also looking at developing a gluten free, organic cone that is made by us. We’ve also started to do ice-cream cakes! We’ve had an amazing response from that as well!”
What do you love about being in Freo? Was Freo always your location of choice to have a business?
“I lived in Scarborough before here, and in Subiaco I tried a few different places but I fell in love with South Freo since moving here!
There’s so much character to Fremantle and I love that everything is walking distance. The people are great, there’s a lot of soul to this part of Perth.
We are definitely in an area where people are quite appreciative of the product that we have. I haven’t had to explain it too much, people just understand.”
Roho Bure is located at 322A South Terrace, Fremantle and is open Tuesday 2-9pm, Wednesday 12-9pm, Thursday 12-10pm, Friday 12-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm and Sunday 12-9pm