These are handmade ice creams, with an exotic touch, made only with Madeira fruit, and there are 50 flavours to try
It is impossible to unveil the secret behind these handmade ice creams. The only thing that can be said is that the creamy texture and the fresh, exotic flavours are made with fruits produced in Madeira. FRIIC - Fruit Island Ice Cream is a bold brand. It was born in 2017 and gained body at the end of 2018, with the first sales.
The main goal of this innovative project is to add value to Madeira fruit, as well as local producers. Gabriela Martins, responsible for the production and sale of the product, explains that FRIIC emerged "to fill a gap at the level of desserts in our Madeiran restaurants", since "the market lacked a dessert that dignified our territory".
In the context of gastronomy, so appreciated by visitors, Madeira is a region known for "espetada, bolo do caco, and swordfish" so we needed to become "better known in terms of sweets. "We realized that fruit and ice cream would be a perfect combination and so we went ahead with the project", says Gabriela Martins.
For the idea to be well received in the market and be launched with pride, the creators of the brand travelled to absorb knowledge. Nothing better than going to Italy, a country well known for its delicious ice cream, to get inspiring ideas about flavours and textures.
"After some trips to Italy and the end of the industrial licensing process, we started supplying some hotels and restaurants on the island with a natural ice cream, with a high fruit content, no colouring, no flavour enhancers, and most of them vegan", says Gabriela Martins, stressing that the concept is to be as "local as possible".
"We are artisanal, regional, we bet on proximity, we are Madeirans and we are fruit!" So far, the brand has developed more than 50 different flavours, although "naturally passion fruit and Surinam cherry flavours take the podium."
Creativity and the will to innovate are part of FRIIC's identity, a brand that stands out for working tailor-made to the customers' needs. "We built a factory rather than a store precisely so that we can be flexible. We recently developed the pisco sour ice cream, inspired by the cocktail of the same name, for a restaurant that recently opened."
The project is going from strength to strength, with a "growing acceptance by Madeirans" who "especially during the pandemic, valued the local character of the product". Last summer, to get closer to the local consumer, the brand opened a pop-up store at Fórum Madeira, an initiative that will be repeated this year, from June to September.
"FRIIC is an inclusive brand and attentive to the island's new artistic currents and that's how in 2021 the invitation to Madeiran artist Cristiana Sousa, aka Andorinha, to give life to our installation at Fórum Madeira came about. This year we wanted to give voice to another Madeiran artist and it was by the hands of Laura Andrade | Unthink Illustrations that our 2022 pop-up store was born", says Gabriela Martins, pointing out that besides ice cream, the project has been betting on other differentiating products, such as "frozen sandwiches".
To continuously invest in the path of innovation, in addition to exclusive events where FRIIC is present, such as weddings, birthday parties or institutional events, this year the "Live Gelato Making" segment will be launched, that is, freshly made ice cream, in front of the customer.
"A freshly whipped ice cream is a unique sensation because the creamy texture coming out of the machine cannot be replicated in an ice cream shop window, nor in ice cream boxes elsewhere. In addition, we also organize workshops for children, who have the opportunity to make their own ice cream, with only three ingredients: fruit from Madeira, water, and sugar", says Gabriela Martins.