Desserts, empowerment and helping the community all come together in this new initiative, writes Aznim Ruhana Md Yusup
KIND Kones is a Malaysian ice-cream brand that just opened its third outlet in Bangsar Village, Kuala Lumpur. Its ice-creams are made in small batches using fresh, natural ingredients and contain no dairy products, making Kind Kones one of few — if not only — vegan ice-cream makers in the country.
The company makes its own nut and coconut milk, doesn’t use preservatives and keeps the sugar content in its products low. This is the healthier ice-cream choice but it wants to serve everyone, not just vegans.
Kind Kones also aims to be a force of good in society. Founder Serina S. Bajaj recently launched the Unstoppable Women campaign, working with well-known Malaysian women of various backgrounds to create their own distinct ice-cream flavours for a good cause. These personalities include, among others, Datuk Nicol David, Davina Goh, Deborah Henry and Nadia Nasimuddin.
“If the ladies choose to do so, the proceeds from the sale of the ice-cream flavours will go to a charity of their choice, and Kind Kones will match the contribution,” says Serina at the Kind Kones outlet in Bukit Damansara.
The campaign which began this month, will be on for seven months in all Kind Kones outlets, including its first kiosk in 1 Mont Kiara. Each scoop sells for RM11.80.
Here, we speak to some of the personalities involved in this campaign, their flavour choices, as well as the organisations they want to help through this initiative.
JESRINA ARSHAD AND STEPHANIE LOO
“Our ice-cream flavour comes out this month and it is Cookies and Cream with chunks of vegan Oreo biscuits. It’s interesting because we come from Purely B, which is an Internet portal that advocates a healthy lifestyle. We tell people that you don’t have to sacrifice what you eat, just get healthier versions of it. So this is the perfect flavour.
We haven’t finalised which charity we want to contribute to because it’s been a rush to get everything sorted for the launch. But we will discuss it with Serina very soon.”
“My ice-cream flavour is due to be out in February and it is still in development. I want it to be different but I also want it to sell, because the more it sells, the more money the charity gets.
I’m thinking Neapolitan, that classic three-flavoured ice-cream. Traditionally it’s vanilla, chocolate and strawberry but I’m going to do it a little differently. The challenge is finding three flavours that go together and that people are going to like. Proceeds from the sale will go to Fugee School (a non-profit school for refugee children that Deborah co-founded in 2009). It’s fun to be part of initiatives like these and I like seeing brands getting involved. It is one thing to donate money but it’s another to create campaigns to get people excited. It puts the fun in fundraising.”
TENGKU CHANELA JAMIDAH
“My ice-cream flavour will be marron glace, or French candied chestnut. I was in Paris looking for inspiration, and of course there were many wonderful food and desserts there, but marron glace is my favourite.
I have not chosen a charity to work with yet, but it will likely be a women’s organisation. At the same time, I am giving back to customers of my fashion brand Thavia. If they purchase Thavia in March, which is when this flavour comes out, they will get a discount code that they can redeem at Kind Kones.
I will also have a social day on March 3. Whoever dresses in Thavia and takes an #OOTD (outfit of the day) on Instagram within a two-hour period will get a free scoop of ice-cream, so that’s exciting.”
UNG YIU LIN
“My ice-cream flavour is black forest. As a child I always wanted a black forest cake for my birthday, with lots of cream, cherries in the middle and the sponge cake. So it’ll be vanilla ice-cream with chocolate layers along with chocolate slivers and chunks of cherries. At least that’s what it will be in an ideal world. It’s still in development and I’ve not tried it yet!
I picked a charity called Women of Will. It’s quite small and has not gotten much publicity. That’s deliberate, we don’t want to go for organisations that are already very visible or doing well with funding.
But they seem to be doing good work and come highly recommended. They work with single mothers in their entrepreneurial pursuits, and that is very close to my heart. I’m an entrepreneur and also a mother with close to three kids (Ung is expecting) and it’s very hard to fathom doing it all alone without the contribution of a male partner.
I had thought of linking it into a kind of reward programme to customers of my store ShoesShoesShoes, but I figured they would rather we give something back to other women who are less privileged.”
“My ice-cream flavour is a secret, but it will have a local twist. It’s something I picked to reflect my love for all things Malaysian.
Meanwhile, the charity organisation that I’ve chosen is www.MyAnimalCare.org, which is a platform run by a veterinarian called Dr Chan Kah Yein. She helps rescued animals, so for cats and dogs that need to go for surgery or neutering, the website will raise funds for them and anyone can contribute.
This is the second time I’ll be working with Dr Chan; I did a fundraiser for her a few years ago. It’s pretty much a one-person show and she’s been doing this tirelessly for so long. I want to support her as a woman, and also because I appreciate her work.
She has a book on kindness that I’ve seen in vegetarian restaurants, and it really resonates with who she is and what she’s doing, so all the more reason for me to help out.”
“My ice-cream flavour is not confirmed yet, but I like everything that has a peanut butter or chocolate base. I also like that Biscoff breakfast spread as well as coconut. So I have a lot of ideas and I will need Serina’s help to narrow it down!
Proceeds from the ice-cream sale will go to my late father’s foundation, Yayasan Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin. We cover a lot of areas with the foundation; we help single mums, victims of natural disasters, even schools and schoolchildren. So I’m very happy to be part of this campaign.”