There is a clichéd scene in almost every Hollywood movie where the female protagonist sits down at the end of a long demanding day with a tub of ice cream and her spoon… all of us have been there at some point, whether post a heartbreak, celebrating a personal victory or just sugar-coating a bad day. Le Cordon Bleu Graduate, Chef Alyssa and her sister Simone would like to change this scene a bit—they would want the tub to be of hand churned gourmet ice cream, ideally Bono ice cream! And yes despite being surrounded by their delectable creations all day, they do indulge in a scoop and the cliché scene ever so often, “I do feel better eating Bono ice cream because I know exactly what goes into it—honest ingredients and nothing else. I look at ice cream as my reward for all the hard work I put into the gym,” reveals Alyssa.
What started out as a passion project of trying cheeky combination and flavour at home, turned into a full-fledged business for Alyssa and Simone that disrupted the traditional ice cream market and flavours. “I’ve always been passionate about ice cream. I found a huge gap in the Indian market when it came to good quality ice cream, and hence wanted to carve my own niche in the boutique ice cream space. I would experiment with flavours at home and would use my friends and family as Guinea pigs to taste these combinations,” says Alyssa. One of these home experiments was White chocolate and Bacon that went on to be a runaway success and set the foundation for the Bono Boutique ice cream, derived from the Italian word ‘Buono’ which means good or tasty.
Today the sisters work together in a creative synergy with Alyssa handling the creative side while Simone looks into the business and accounting side of things. But things in the ice cream business are not all rosy as Alyssa bemoans the lack of consistency when it comes to ingredients especially imported ones. And yes there are those experiments that didn’t quite make the cut despite numerous attempts like the Red Wine ice cream flavor that she was crafting for Valentines Day.
Its amazing to see the sheer volume of ice cream tubs being packed and sent out of the studio in Bandra with flavours that range from Dark Chocolate and Italian Truffle Oil, Pondicherry Vanilla, Mango Passion Fruit to their signature Blue Cheese and Honey ice cream and the one that kicked off the entire craze—Milk Chocolate and Bacon. It’s these innovative combinations that set Bono apart from and as Alyssa points out “we are all natural, we don’t use any artificial stabilizers or preservatives in our ice cream. We constantly pay attention to our quality of ice cream, and quality checks are of utmost importance.” What can we expect next on the menu? If Alyssa gets the combination right, her dream creation of foie gras ice cream!
She has been on the management team of Vinati Organics Limited since 2006 and balances the technical/manufacturing execution with her marketing abilities combined with new age aggression.