It was the love for ice cream that made this pair rise to the challenge of making vegan ice cream more widely available in Malaysia.
A former accountant and his wife, Azlan Shah and Aina Mazril, made the decision to become vegans over a year ago. Aina was frustrated not being able to find desserts – specifically ice cream – for her to indulge in. The couple saw this as an opportunity to make vegan ice cream; they replace cow’s milk, which is one of the ingredients to make ice cream, with coconut milk. “There are a lot of different versions on how to make vegan ice cream; it depends on what type of base you’re working with. We use kelapa in ours, hence our name,” Aina said.
The name Kelava is derived from kelapa (coconut in Malay) and love. And trust us; there is a lot of love around this brand, and passion as well. Azlan learned how to make vegan ice cream from scratch through online research and relying on his wife’s palette to come up with their range of delicious flavours.
Being an accountant for 10 years with a fixed income meant it was a big leap for Azlan as he dedicates his full time to the business now. “I was used to getting a fixed income but doing this [Kelava] tested me to have faith in my product. We continuously receive positive feedback and we believe our product can sell,” he said.
“We’ve also been very lucky that word of mouth has been working quite well for us especially within the vegan community. Social media has really helped us, especially going to pop-up markets and doing events,” Aina added.
Their journey is just getting started. “Our general mission is basically to help make vegan or non-dairy ice cream mainstream in Malaysia. That is by, of course, making it more delicious and secondly, making it more accessible,” Azlan said.
They hope they will be able to mass-produce their vegan ice cream soon and are currently finding ways to go into retail like supermarkets. “We can be THE vegan ice cream brand that Malaysians can have at home or in the office,” he concluded.
Check out other inspiring stories from individuals and businesses that believed it was possible.