Sucre’s Mikołaj Paszkowski gives us the inside scoop on Warsaw’s finest natural ice cream…
Introduce natural ice cream…
You’re going to find additives, stabilizers, emulsifiers and all other kinds of chemical substances in supermarket ice cream. In fact, even most ice cream parlors use them. We wanted to avoid that which meant searching out the right recipes, ingredients and technology. Away from the technical side, natural ice cream doesn’t last anywhere near as long as the other stuff because it lacks all of these artificial extras. That means we have to sell what we make – and quick!
How did Sucre come about?
I was working in market research in London for six years and I remember once a colleague from our Paris office came in with a box of macaroons. It was the moment that changed my life! After that I found myself spending a fortune on macaroons so figured, well, why not learn to make them myself. First I attended amateur courses before moving onto ones targeted at professionals. When I finally moved back to Poland I made them for a few friends and family and the reaction was really positive. People kept saying I should try make them for a living – well why not I thought. My friend Paweł had the cash and business experience so we started Sucre. The macaroons have been really successful, but they remain a niche market, so last year we decided to add ice cream to our portfolio.
We took ice cream courses in Italy, found people to develop the strategy and bought the right machines. Our first venue opened off Pl. Zbawiciela last June – one day it was a travel agency, the next we’d taken out the window, drew up a sign and were ready for business. It’s been a phenomenon ever since.
What’s the most important stage of the production process?
Checking the weather! Really, that’s the first thing we do when producing our ice cream. It has a huge impact on demand, so we need to work out how much we need and then produce the right amount.
What do you think of all the weird ice creams we’re seeing in Warsaw?
We like to play around with unusual flavors ourselves, but the most important thing is always the taste. We made Guinness ice cream for St. Patrick’s Day and while it was fine it wasn’t anything amazing – but it’s not good enough for an ice cream to be interesting, it has to be perfect, so you could say we learned an important lesson from that. I read a great book by an Australian gelato maker: experimentation is interesting, he wrote, but would you want more than one scoop – that’s the real test of a good ice cream.
Do you have a favorite location?
Our ice cream is the same everywhere, but I’d say the one off pl. Zbawiciela is my favorite – you get so many interesting people up there, we’ve even served the former president. It’s busy from 10 in the morning till midnight, but even so it’s the one all of our employees want to work at.
Mokotowsa 12, Żurawia 26 & Chmielna 26