Yazeed Yasin and his family are on a mission. “A relentless mission”, he says, “to turn ice cream into a healthy, inclusive, and nutritious treat that can be enjoyed throughout the year and by all members of the community”. Yasin has taken this passion and created Nanashake—Canada’s premier, exclusively vegan ice cream parlor.
When you walk into their storefront just off the corner of Sheppard Avenue and Yonge Street in Toronto, Ontario, you would think you had entered a typical boutique, high-end ice cream parlor. Well, you did, but this ice cream is handcrafted on site using fair-trade, organic bananas and other plant-based ingredients. The storefront carries the largest selection of plant-based, frozen treats including soft-serve, Bananza milkshakes, tubs, and made-to-order cakes. They also offer packaged products—Nanapop popsicles, and Nanabowl grab-and-go ice cream bowls. Both are certified vegan with VegeCert. Yasin stresses the importance of obtaining the certification, “obtaining the VegeCert certification was very important to us, especially as we expanded our distribution footprint through wholesaling our products into supermarkets and stores, because it gives first-time customers the trust and confidence that the products they are purchasing are backed by a trusted certification process and brand”.
But it’s not just an ice cream parlor that Yasin and his family have created. Over the past two and a half years, they have created a loyal community who feel more like family than customers. They have done this, Yasin says, “through putting a lot of love into our product development coupled with amazing and courteous service. We are also the only ice cream parlor nationally to work with a registered holistic nutritionist who helps us develop our products to be as nutritious as they are tasty.”
And don’t think their store is only frequented by those who follow a vegan diet. Their banana-based creations have changed the face of ice cream from a guilty indulgence that is enjoyed in warmer weather to a healthy and nutritious treat to be enjoyed by everyone, year round and, most importantly, guilt free. Vegans and non-vegans alike visit from across Canada to enjoy Nanashake’s wide range of frozen treats and are constantly requesting that they expand their operations and distribution. Yasin and his family are definitely succeeding in their mission, and customers are going bananas for more!
Products are available for purchase out of their storefront location, 4750 Yonge St., Unit 134, Toronto, Ontario as well as Yamchops, Noah’s Natural Foods (Carlton St., Bloor St., King, & Spadina locations), Pusateri’s (Avenue Rd. & Eaton Centre locations), Penguin Fresh, and LivClean Meals.
Please note that VegeCert only certifies products in their original sealed packaging.