What happens when three health-conscious friends decide can’t seem to find affordable options for healthy ice creams? For Jen, Ezra and Jonathan, the answer was simple—just make it yourself.
Although none of them had backgrounds in F&B, they believed Wolf Pints was a good idea. Both Ezra and Jonathan had some experience running a hawker business. While it didn’t take off, the two budding entrepreneurs gained courage and experience from the stint to start a new e-commerce brand.
At first, Wolf Pints remained a side interest, but the trio noticed the positive feedback and potential growth in the company. Eventually, they decided to turn operating the healthy ice cream business into their full-time jobs. Here’s how they made it happen.
No guilt trips
Due to the pandemic, it took eight months to a year before their concept became a reality. Once things were settled, the three close friends started churning out ice creams right at home.
“Most of our ingredients are handmade, some are bought from local stores,” Jen explained. “It usually takes about two to four days to make the ice cream, depending on how many batches we are required to make.” Each tub is 475ml.
But making ice cream isn’t as easy as it looks, especially when it comes to healthy ones.
“Some of our flavours that are more complex require us to find substitutes for low-calorie products which is a challenge as most products off the shelf have a lot of oil and sugar which adds up the calories,” Jen explained.
The team is able to make the ice cream low in calories by using half sugar and half erythritol, which is an artificial sweetener. They also use a low-fat dairy ice cream base, though Jen said the team is considering looking into vegan alternatives as well.
If the team isn’t able to find the necessary low-calorie ingredients, they create them in-house. For instance, they roast their own pistachio nuts so that they know what goes into the pistachio paste. Sauces such as the caramel and chocolate ones are also whipped up in-house to reduce the sugar content.
“Our Pulut Tai Tai flavour is all in-house, from the pulut to the kaya,” Jen said. “A lot of thought has to go into one pint, it’s not just the flavour that needs to match, but the calories as well.”
The calorie count of each ice cream can be easily found on the menu. The team calculates the calories by measuring the ingredients with a micro weighing scale step-by-step, but they have plans to eventually send their products to a lab for further testing.
The lowest-calorie flavour on Wolf Pint’s menu currently is Genmai with 280 calories, while the highest ones are Pistachio and Hazelnut, both with 430 calories.
Compared to other healthy ice cream options in Malaysia, their calories are a little bit higher. Calli’s So Matcha Better flavour is 260 calories per pint, while Wolf Pints’ Matcha is 290 calories.
Calli also uses erythritol in combination with cane sugar, though its matcha flavour is dairy-free, using oat milk as an alternative.
Let’s talk money
While its calorie count might not be particularly outstanding, Jen believes that what sets Wolf Pints apart is its affordability.
Wolf Pints’ Matcha ice cream is RM20, while one pint of So Matcha Better from Calli costs RM29.90, which is a standard price for all of the brand’s flavours.
The most expensive option on Wolf Pints is Pistachio and Skinny Monkey, which uses a banana base with walnut and chocolate chunks. Both of these are RM30, making them the only two flavours that are more expensive than Calli’s ice creams.
Of course, extra fees come in the form of delivery charges. If your destination is within 15km of Wolf Pints, it’s RM10 for one pint, RM8 for two pints, RM5 for three pints, and free for four pints.
If you’re living more than 15km away, Wolf Pints delivers one pint for RM15, two pints for RM12, three pints at RM9, four pints at RM5, and five pints for free.
Those living 25km away must make a minimum order of six pints, and pay a flat rate delivery fee of RM10.
It’s important to note that Wolf Pints only delivers once a week at their current scale, typically on Saturdays, and on each day, Wolf Pints can ship out around 200 to 250 pints.
Plans in store
Right now, Wolf Pints offers 17 flavours. The most popular ones are Triple Chocolate, Sea Salt Caramel, Apple Crumble, and Biscoff. The team hopes to add more unique flavours to the list, especially ones that customers didn’t think could be made in a low-calorie form.
This year, they also began rolling out limited edition seasonal flavours. For Chinese New Year, they created a red velvet cheesecake flavour, while the Pulut Tai Tai flavour that features pandan and in-house kaya was created for Raya.
To better cater to customers, Wolf Pints is now thinking of extending their delivery days. Based on the demand they’re currently already seeing, it’s a decision that would make sense for catalysing their growth.
The high delivery fees from them personally delivering the items could be a turn off for newer customers, but events where the public can taste and buy their ice cream on the spot could be the initial hook the brand needs.
One of Wolf Pint’s goals is to host more events where the above can be done, and it recently was at a pop-up event in April, so that goal is underway.
Big picture-wise, Jen shared, “We’d love to own our own space to welcome dine-ins. And hopefully, be a household name in Malaysia for low-calorie food.”
Featured Image Credit: Jonathan Ngan, Naik Shiang Jen, and Ezra Carvalho Soon, co-founders of Wolf Pints