Q: Do you ship ice cream across the country?

A: The short answer is that we can, but you probably don’t realize how much the shipping will cost.

A slightly longer answer is that we now sell dry ice cream mixes online (http://luvicecream.net/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=89).   Just add 3 cups of boiling water to the coconut one and just add hot milk/cream to the dairy one (dairy mixes coming very soon, just as soon as we finish revising the recipes for the home ice cream makers).  All you do is mix, cool to room temperature and churn. If you do not already have one (many of our customers tend to have one gathering dust somewhere :), we will soon start offering budget entry models for under $30 along with our recommendations for better models/costs/where to get them.

Here is the long answer: Ice cream has to be packed in dry ice (heavy, “smokes”,  harder to handle than “regular” ice) and shipped overnight.  Dry ice weighs a lot. It also “fumes”: as it sublimes into carbon dioxide gas it creates a white fog that looks like smoke. FAA therefore considers it a hazardous material and demands forms be filled out. Postal regulations require that dry ice be  declared a Hazardous Material, regardless of which carrieris used. The package then must be shipped overnight; otherwise dry ice sublimes and the ice cream melts.  Chances are, after all the terrorist alerts, the package might be detoured to be inspected too.  That might delay the shipment or re-route it to a different (more central) pick up location. That’s not good for the ice cream, but it also adds time. As a result, when we shipped ice cream between Boston and MN last summer, our package was not delivered overnight, as promised, but had to be picked up in person by the recipient at the postal storage/routing facility (not her local post office). Because she was able to pick it up on the night of the day after it was packed and shipped, she got to enjoy it. But there was very little dry ice left at that time, so had she waited for her Post Office carrier to deliver it the next morning, she’d have gotten a molten mess.

I know you are wondering about the price on some level . The whole thing set her back over $200 between MN and Boston. Because 5 pints were ordered, it worked out to about more than $40/pint in just shipping alone. And our ice creams and Nice Creams, good as they are, are hard to justify at more than $225/half gallon. The bottom line is that when we shipped ice cream between St. Paul and Boston, it set the buyer back over $200 in shipping and dry ice packing alone, and the re-routing for inspection did, in fact, happen.

 

Q: Where can I buy your ice cream?

A: The list of retailers who currently sell our Ice Creams and Nice Creams ™ is growing quickly. For the most current list of where to find LUV around the Twin Cities, please see our store locator.

Q: I live in ____, far away from any of the retailers listed on your site. How can I get my local store to carry your ice creams & chocolates?

A: We are only 4 months old as of this writing, but we find that customer service in most of the coops is wonderfully responsive to customer requests to carry new products. If you find them to be slow addressing your request, mobilize your friends to ask for LUV. This is what coop movement is all about! Buying local and supporting small businesses organically!

Q: Where can I buy your chocolates?

A: You can buy them at the same co-ops and retailers who carry our ice creams.  Some of them do not have some of the products, and none of them have everything we make, but we find that if you ask them nicely and repeatedly, eventually they expand their LUV repertoire. You can also purchase any and all of our chocolates online.

At the moment (and this is obviously subject to change and availability, so please call them first):

 

Q: What do you use for sweetener?

A: All our products are sweetened with Sweet LUV ™,  our own  all-natural blend of plant-based sweeteners that we’ve perfected after months and months of failed, though sweet experimentation. The sweetest anchor is organic Stevia.  We use chicory root derived inulins and “friendly” low glycemic index sugar alcohols like erythritol.  What we DO NOT use is anything artificial, anything that ends with –ose, or maltitol.

Q: Does your sweetener blend contain agave, honey or HFCS?

A: No! We stay away from fructose and any other monosaccharide and disaccharide like plague. That’s what this whole product line is about.

Q: Does your sweetener contain maltitol?

A: No!

Q: Do you ship chocolates?

A: Yes, throughout US and Canada thus far.

Q: I want your chocolates, but I don’t want to pay shipping every time I get a craving for 80% cacao content vegan chocolate. What do I do?

A: See above. Get your local store to supply LUV. We can ship chocolate to them and will be happy to do so!

Q: Why is sugar-free chocolate and ice cream more expensive than the regular stuff?

A: Regular stuff is filled with sucrose, aka table sugar. Big Sugar is subsidized by American taxpayers. That’s why it’s less than a buck a pound at your local grocery store. Organic Stevia is not subsidized. Organic sweeteners, berries, and other chocolate ingredients we use are not subsidized. Everyone making sugar-free treats that ARE NOT sweetened with maltitol are small manufacturers who do not buy in the sorts of volumes that the Big Sugar producers do.

Q: We LUV your Nice Cream ™ and supporting local, but don’t like paying over $6.50/pint. Can’t you do something to keep the prices low?

A: Two-part answer:

(1) As manufacturers and wholesalers we cannot set the retail price.  Each retailer carrying our product sets his/her own price.  It would be illegal for us to dictate the retail price. That’s called collusion.

(2) Other ice creams on the shelf next to us use sugar to sweeten.  If you read the labels, you will find that sugar is either the second ingredient or sometimes even the first.  That means, other brands use sugar as their MAIN ingredient. You probably know that sugar is subsidized by the American taxpayer. Big Sugar exists on farm and other subsidies. That’s why it is effectively priced below market cost at essentially buck a pound.  Using buck/pound major ingredient dilutes the cost and price of sugar-filled foods and allows them to price it as cheap as they want it.  Because we are NOT part of “Food Inc.”, because we are a local micro-start-up, we are not in any way subsidized, nor do we use subsidized ingredients making our Nice Cream ™.  We use organic Stevia, which costs well over $40/lb.  Compare that with sugar at 40 times less.

When we say we are doing our best to keep the price as low as possible, you don’t have to take our word for it.  We make everything ourselves, from graphic design to printing to website.  All this to make sure we can continue to sell our products at the lowest price possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Q: I am a web developer who is willing to work for chocolate and ice cream. Will you work with me to improve your website?

A: Absolutely.

 

 

Q: What else you got? What are your plans for growth and new products?

A: We are working on the way to distribute and sell Sweet LUV ™ our all-natural low glycemic index sweetener in bulk for baking, cooking, sweetening beverages like tea, coffee, lemonade and beer. No, scratch beer. We are not going to sweeten your beer. But seriously, we have developed a one-to-one sugar replacement that is just as sweet as sugar, and not only does not harm your body, destroy your liver and raise your blood pressure like sugar does, but is actually good for you.  We hope to be in the stores latter this summer and fall.  Again, at first starting with the Twin Cities, then going national.