If you tasted Vixen Kitchen’s vegan gelato at the Garberville Farmers Market and want more, you are in luck. Gelato maker Sundara Navarro Clark has opened a wholesale production kitchen in Garberville and is selling her organic cashew gelato in stores and restaurants from Laytonville to McKinleyville, including stores in Southern Humboldt.
Clark hopes to expand distribution of her frozen dessert beyond Humboldt and Northern Mendocino. She has joined Humboldt Made, that links Humboldt County producers with buyers and distributors beyond the county, and will participate in their buyers’ tours.
Clark explained that her daughter, Gigi, now age 7, was lactose intolerant and Clark had a hard time finding a frozen dessert that was healthy and delicious. Clark began experimenting with recipes a few years ago and came up a gelato made from raw organic cashews and sweetened with organic maple syrup and other natural spices.
Clark started selling it in pints, cups and cones at the Farmers Market last year and it was so popular she decided to expand. She has gone into production at her new facility at 921 Redwood Drive in Garberville. The cashews are ground up in a vita-mixer with the maple syrup and spices, refrigerated, then fluffed into gelato in a big gelato machine and then frozen.
Clark may open her new establishment up to the public as a tasting room, but is currently concentrating on expanding her wholesale market.
Clark said cashews are high in antioxidants and an excellent source of copper and magnesium. Her gelato is sweetened with organic maple syrup, which is also full of nutrients, so the dessert is not only a delectable alternative to ice cream, but it is good for you. She is happy to be able to provide something healthful for her children that is cruelty free because it has no animal products.
Clark enjoys donating her vegan gelato to fundraisers for good causes like Skyfish School and Little Redwoods Preschool and she hopes to be selling it at some of the local festivals this summer. She will be selling it again at the weekly Farmers Market in Garberville that starts in May and goes throughout the summer at the Garberville Town Square.
Clark has been making nine flavors of gelato and has a non-nut alternative made from mango and orange juice for those who are allergic to nuts.
She said her daughters Gigi and Lola, age 3, are excited about the new kitchen facility and they love the gelato. She and her husband, Chet Clark, designed the labels. It is a family business, Clark said.
REDWOOD TIMES PHOTO BY SANDY FERETTO
Sundara Navarro Clark in front of her new Vixen Kitchen in Garberville