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VEGANISTA, Great ice cream meets award-winning shop design; Austria’s first totally vegan ice cream shop has opened! A collaboration between an award-winning designer and two innovative ice cream entrepreneurs has redrawn the ice cream map of Vienna, Austria. Ice cream lovers are leaving the city centre for the up and coming, vibrant 7th District where the Veganista ice cream parlor is offering artisan, fresh, honest, all natural and vegan ice cream.

The two sisters Cecilia Blochberger and Susanna Paller opened Veganista, Austria’s first totally vegan ice cream shop, on May 28 in Neustiftgasse 23 in Vienna. The two entrepreneurs, best known for bringing the global cruelty-free cosmetic brand LUSH Cosmetics to Austria and Central Europe almost 10 years ago, turned vegan more than 20 years ago. Ever since, they have been missing one thing from their non-vegan days: great tasting ice cream. The yearning turned into a mission statement: “We will bring honest, fresh, vegan, artisan ice cream to our neighborhood”. After spending more than 3 years researching and attending leading ice cream academies in Europe as well as in America, Cecilia and Susanna finally feel that they have cracked the code.

“Although some ice cream shops do offer dairy-free flavors we always felt that vegan ice cream produced in the same machines handling dairy and sold next to dairy ice cream is a compromise and they never tasted or felt creamy enough. Not only is this matter important to vegans and others concerned with animal care, but also to anyone with milk or lactose allergies and intolerances. In Austria alone, the number of people with lactose intolerance has been estimated to exceed 1 million” explains Cecilia, CEO of the company.

Susanna Paller, the head chef and the brain behind exciting flavors such as Matcha Green Tea, Olive Saffron, Basil, and Poppy Seed that share the limelight with more traditional flavors, elaborates: “We hope to offer something for everyone. Soy allergy? Concerned about cane sugar? There will be alternatives for you too! But ultimately we just want to offer the best tasting ice cream. To achieve this we use only fresh, natural ingredients and refrain from additives, artificial ingredients and premade pastes or bases. Further, when possible we use organic and locally sourced produce. We believe that all this makes for a great tasting ice cream”. The constant long line of customers outside the shop indicates that the two entrepreneurs are right. The two sisters also pledge to be sustainable when possible. For example, all cups and spoons are bio-degradable.

The first Veganista shop was conceived by designer Gabriele Lenz and her team. Mrs. Lenz, winner of “The Best German Book Design Award 2012” and “The Best Designed Book In The World 2012” created a minimalistic, understated shop design that allows for the colorful ice cream to be the star of the show. The shop design was realized by the German architect Ulrich Huhs. The beautiful shop has already been featured in many media including Wallpaper* Magazine as an Editor’s pick and is drawing as much accolade as the superb ice cream. All the signs are there that this first Veganista shop will not be the last.

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