No Moo 4 U whips up dairy, gluten and nut free soft-serve
Published on 19 October 2020
With plans in the works to open a shopfront by the end of 2020 No Moo 4 U is smashing goals and expectations for sufferers of food allergies and intolerances.
No Moo 4 U owner Nikky Simpson is an older mum with teenagers at home and she's fierce about protecting our environment and having an inclusive society and that includes food. Her daughter Storm is 17 and has suffered severe food allergies since she was a baby and is also on the spectrum.
WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATOR TO START NO MOO 4 U?
I was tired of watching Storm and a coeliac family friend miss out on treat foods at events. It made me sad and angry for them. The alternative offerings were water based slushies, soft drinks and chips. Dairy and gluten is present in almost everything we take for granted. A lot of families affected by food allergies or intolerances rarely attend events and if they do, they bring food from home. It was time for a change. No more exclusion for them. So with that in my mind No Moo 4 U was born!
Customers have little confidence in the fast food industry with intolerances and allergies often overlooked so my goal was to make our own soft ice-cream to include EVERYONE. I researched allergen safety and ran market testing for 12 months to discover what my customers wanted and filled their needs. I applied for and won Coeliac Australia Accreditation to give confidence to our customers that they can safely indulge at No Moo 4 U and they are not overcharged for it either.
WHAT WENT INTO STARTING NO MOO 4 U?
I was working in aged care before starting No Moo 4 U and over the years I noticed that many aged residents were lactose intolerant, vegetarian and even vegan and their choices were very limited. This was just another place where people were having problems with food allergies and intolerances. Starting a business was a bit daunting at first. I completed a business course, researched soft serve recipes and experimented for 12 months to get my product right. I spoke to my potential customers; who would want No Moo 4 U? Customers wanted inclusiveness, safe food, variety and sustainability. How could my business be sustainable in the environment? I was tired of picking up takeaway food rubbish from our beaches and parks so I had to make sure all of our products would be compostable plant based plastic or edible. I never want to see my packaging poisoning our beautiful environment. I made a business plan and bought an old yoghurt van to start No Moo 4 U. My family and friends supported me and helped to build my business. We scraped the old paint off the van, repaired the soft serve machine and researched recipes. We wanted choices! And plenty of them. We wanted kids and parents to love us and what we stand for. Our customers are our family too.
WHAT HAVE BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED?
- Starting No Moo 4 U with no money! It was a big risk.
- Finding tasty, interesting and colourful allergen free ingredients was a challenge.
- Learning how to use my machine was hard, it is challenging to make fluffy soft serve with ingredients that aren't meant to be used that way. There are no lessons for this!
- Gaining a site at local events was very hard. Being compared to regular vendors and being overlooked was defeating. Explaining what we do and why we were different over and over was challenging.
But I wouldn't change a thing. Everything has been a learning curve for us, but it has been an amazing journey. We have been given great opportunities to showcase our business by local event coordinators and local schools. I am so grateful to all of our supporters who took a chance and gave us a go.
Our followers will be very excited to know that we are opening a shopfront late 2020 (fingers crossed!) where we will be offering our amazing soft-serve and many more options for those conscious about what they put in their bodies. Follow our Facebook page for announcements.
WHAT’S THE NUMBER ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN?
Keep refining, learning and pivoting to grow. What can you do differently or better than your competitors and most importantly, listen to your customers.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER PEOPLE LOOKING TO BREAK INTO BUSINESS?
- Don't be afraid of failure, you learn and grow from failures and mistakes.
- Have a sense of humour.
- Is there a need for what you have? Is someone else doing the same and if so, how can you be different and better?
- Do a small business course - there are lots of free and cheap courses on offer. Learn everything you can.
- QLD Small Business have lots of info to help you get started and there is a lot of support available to you.
- Be prepared to take a risk. You won't know unless you give it a go.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
In my new shop. Bringing happiness, joy, inclusiveness and excitement to everyone. Spreading No Moo 4 U across Australia. Making new flavours of ice-creams, new friends and enjoying the ride!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Parents taking photos of their kids with our ice-creams and sharing them on social media. Hearing excited parents telling their kids that everything at our business is safe for them and letting them choose whatever they want from the plentiful flavours and options. Watching the fear disappear from their faces!
Every ice-cream is as beautiful and individual as their little creator. Watching their eyes light up when they watch us make them. Watching them choose their ingredients to create their very own edible work of art. That's the biggest inspiration to keep doing what we do. Having a No Moo 4 U ice-cream is a happy memory!
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS?
We are at the beautiful Kershaw Gardens almost every weekend and we will be at Rivernites on Saturday 7 November on Huish Drive 5pm-9pm. We also pop up regularly at Fig Tree and Bell Park Markets.
You can find out more on our website www.nomoo4u.com.au or Facebook page www.facebook.com/nomoo4u2