Interview with Zac Bird - Founder of vegan ice-cream line 'Nicecreamery'
You are a brilliant vegan cook with over 18k Instagram followers! How did it all begin?
Thank you! I really wanted to create somewhere where I could go and see nothing but amazing vegan food all the time, and Instagram was the perfect option, so I created an account! It turns out it was a great way to combine my love of creating amazing 'weird vegan' food and enjoy the creativity involved in social media. It took off from there!
Tell us about your creation ‘Nicecreamery’
My dream is to create my own vegan dairy house, and this is the start of that! I've been really lucky in the fact that I've been asked to supply my food to a few restaurants, so I was given a great platform to open a business on. The ice cream is actually one of the first commercially available products to use aquafaba (chickpea brine) so I've had a lot of interest because of that. Now you can grab a scoop of my ice cream around Melbourne, which is something I'm still adjusting to, and I can't wait to release more products!
What do you feel are the benefits of a vegan diet?
A clear conscience! But really, there are so many benefits. For those wanting to actually know more, it's recommended you watch 'Earthlings' to find out about the ethical side, 'Forks over Knives' to find out about health, and 'Cowspiracy' which focuses on the environmental impact. Those three documentaries are a great way to fully understand why someone would choose to eschew animal products entirely. Do you think there is less of a stigma attached to veganism nowadays as we continue to evolve as a society?
Yes! I've only been vegan for two years and even in that time supermarkets and cafes have quadrupled their options! You can now find vegan yoghurt, cheese and alternative meats at almost all supermarkets! As information becomes more accessible, I think more people are having a greater appreciation of the benefits and motives of a vegan lifestyle. I've had friends who couldn't handle the concept at first eventurally turn vegan themselves, so really everyone has the capacity to live lives that reduce their harm. More and more people are definitely realising this and it makes me hopeful for the future! What are some health tips when it comes to cooking?
Find your worst, fattiest indulgent food and health-ify it! For example, my all time weakness is chilli poppers (chillis filled with cream cheese, crumbed and deep fried). By subbing the cream cheese with cashew cheese and baking instead of frying, I'm able to make this into something that doesn't mean I'm totally giving up on my health. The same goes for replacing fried chips with oil free baked potato, ice cream with whipped frozen bananas and so on. It's so much easier to eat healthy when your healthy food is just like your indulgence food!
Now that you are ‘Insta famous’ do you feel like there are more opportunities coming your way?
That's a big call! But I'm definitely connecting with a lot more people and it's definitely leading to more opportunities for me to seize. I have nothing but gratitude for the blessings that have come my way and it really motivates me to do something worthwhile with them! What would you love to achieve in your career?
It's pretty obvious that veganism is going to be an important part of the future of humanity, the planet, and our animal co-inhabitants on it. I think there's plenty of information out there, and the next big hurdle that veganism has is the wide accessibility of food and vegan alternatives. Clearly we've come leaps and bounds in recent years, but if I had any one end-goal, it would be to help foster the accessibility of delicious cruelty free food so that it's really simple to make the vegan choice. Every vegan saves 100-300 animal lives per year so to be in a position where I can help create more vegans would be my dream. That, and my food being available to purchase on every street corner! Do you have any exciting projects in the pipeline?
I've got some cool vegan flavours coming your way via Nicecreamery and my lips are sealed beyond that!
Follow Zac on Instagram & Facebook for inspiring recipes and amazing vegan food ideas...