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Wheeler’s (Not) Going Dairy. Yuck!

Go read Why Vegan again.

Go read Why Vegan again.

Well, a day after all the hype, Wheeler’s Black Label has just announced they’re starting to make dairy products. Yuck. It’s not like all good vegan food comes from exclusively vegan companies, but this is a real disappointment. They sort of try to explain it, but the explanations make no sense. If you read the link above and think you understand Wheeler’s motives (beyond $$$), please leave a comment.

I guess this gives a bunch of bragging rights back Temptation, who are always quick to remind you that their goodies are made on dedicated animal-product-free equipment.

Update: OK, as per a couple of updates on their blog (1, 2) and a phone conversation with Wheeler himself, they are not going dairy. They’re just having turf battles with certain frozen-dairy companies. Hopefully they’ll elevate the argument to just insulting each others’ mothers and leave us poor paranoid vegan ice-cream fans out of it. Again, Wheeler’s is not making dairy products, they just want the world to know that if they did, they’d be kickass dairy products. (No, it’s not how I’d run a business either… but then I’d never be crazy enough to come up with all these awesome flavors either.)

13 Comments

  1. Comment by

    al oof

    on #

    aw, i just emailed them! are the tastings going to be for the non-soy ice creams? that sucks.

    if only temptation would have some tastings. is there somewhere that sells temptation here other than cookie dough? i vinnie’s would get one of temptation’s soft serve systems.

  2. Comment by

    Laura Leslie

    on #

    LAME.

  3. Comment by

    bunk existence

    on #

    What the hell is going on?

  4. Comment by

    bonnie

    on #

    i re-read the blog posts a few times and still don’t understand–maybe my protein deficiency is causing brain fogginess?

  5. Comment by

    Jason Das

    on #

    The written evidence is genuinely nonsensical. Essentially, he was just joking/lying/exaggerating when he said he’d make dairy stuff.

    Exactly why he did so is the unique “magic” of Wheeler. If you have more questions, you can call him (really): (617) 216-9087

  6. Comment by

    yostt

    on #

    Al Oof, you can find several flavors of Temptation at ‘Commodities’ in the East Village. It’s on the corner of 10th and Ave.A. They usually have ‘Peach Cobbler’(my favorite), Cookie Dough, Mint Chocolate-Chip & French Vanilla. They’re all amazing (well, I haven’t tried the French Vanilla, but the rest are delicious).

  7. Comment by

    veganphilly

    on #

    I am still confused…

  8. Comment by

    veganphilly

    on #

    ..okay after reading their blog comments I get it a little better, though we may want to put a clarification up on the superveg main page…

  9. Comment by

    mushroom_blotter

    on #

    re: big bullying corporations (OT-ish) – I use those kinds of descriptive terms myself, but it’s probably counter-productive to keep playing into the entirely false notion that a corporation or company is an entity in and of itself.

    It is of course individual people working in a job that make any kind of decisions or policies that other employees have to abide by – regardless of how high up any company ladder you may go, it’s still individual regular everyday people, with jobs, who are the ones making policies that define what people refer to as ‘the big corporations’.

    Some people seem to experience a company as this separate godlike being that programs those who work for it (like it’s a big The Matrix brain they have no control over…), but that is not the case, a company is just the people that own it and work for it.

    It’s like the old saying, “what if they declared a war and nobody showed up for it.”

  10. Comment by

    al oof

    on #

    thanks, yosst!

  11. Comment by

    Edita

    on #

    Revealing article about Wheeler’s From Boston Now (http://www.bostonnow.com/business/local/2008/01/14/special-orders

    Initially working as an ice cream designer and pastry chef, Wheeler Lord’s allergy-prone girlfriend often complained that he was making ice creams for everyone but her. To appease her, he began experimenting with soy, rice, and coconut bases to create the ultimate experience in dairy-free frozen desserts.

    Tasting the quality of his newfound product, Lord began marketing his ice cream-making skills to high-end celebrity clients that he had connected with from previous job experience.

    Wheeler’s Black Label Vegan Ice Cream was born.

    A word-of-mouth campaign promoted Wheeler’s ice cream to a self-sustaining business, and finally has grown to the point where he is fending off requests from large chain-supermarkets and opening an ice cream bar.

    “I like to talk to people about the ice cream,” Lord explained. The instant feedback of making made-to-order blends, he insisted, is what allows his faux-cream making to maintain its quality.

    And when Wheeler says his ice cream is “made-to-order,” he’s not kidding.

    “I made cigarette flavored ice cream once,” he admitted. “We wanted to make the naughtiest flavor we could. The people at the party loved it – they said it tasted just like smoke.”

    A more posh concoction of Cristal Rose champagne and gold flakes was reportedly worth it’s $400 a gallon price tag.

    Not all his flavors are so outrageous. Traditional flavors are readily available, and tastier sounding blends such as chocolate Twinkie include specially made vegan Twinkie pieces. They also have numerous alcoholic mixes that have gotten rave reviews from clients.

    Wheeler’s also offers milk-based designer ice creams upon request, as well as ice cream cakes. Lord just wants to make you happy, after all. Whatever you need, he can do. “We’re a product-driven company,” he said. “We’re obsessed with ice cream.”

    Business Advice

    BostonNOW: What advice do you have to others starting a business?
    Wheeler Lord: Do your homework. Make sure that your business can survive. I’ve been doing business for a long time and I’ve had some great mentors. The thing that I’m starting to realize about younger people is they aren’t willing to listen to anyone and they’re not willing to take advice. My brother is younger than me. He started a company and had some great mentors too, but he wouldn’t listen to anyone. Taking the time to listen and to do the research for whatever company you want to start is imperative for your company’s survival.

    BN: What did you wish you knew before you started your business?
    W.L.: Better accounting. I’m more of an artist, I’m not much of a numbers person. I also wish I’d have paid attention more in school. I find myself doing events in countries where I don’t speak the language. I took Spanish and French throughout middle school, high school and college. I didn’t learn anything, apparently. So pay attention!

    BN: What’s the biggest mistake you made in getting your business going?
    W.L.: Not buying the building that I’m running the business from. People would tell me “buy your building,” and I would always say it costs too much. I’ve been here for eight years, and if I’d bought the building eight years ago, I’d have it almost paid off. That would have created a lot of equity for me. If you buy your building, in the long run, if your business ever fails, at least you still have an asset which you can sell – and then go start another business!

  12. Comment by

    Tiffany

    on #

    al oof, they also sell a few different flavors of temptation at the little natural food store that’s on the same block of bedford as vinnie’s and jumelle. they usually have peach cobbler, mint chocolate chip and french vanilla in a addition to cookie dough. i wish they had the coffee flavor, i’ve been dying to try it.

  13. Comment by

    dustinbuster

    on #

    This is possibly the lamest excuse I’ve ever heard. It makes me want to never, ever try the dumb ice cream—even if it’s the best stuff on earth.

    Perhaps, Wheelers will make other small, independent (shall remain nameless) companies up their game. That’s the best we can hope for. :)

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