By Christine Ottoni

North York Gets Vegan Ice Cream

Nanashake is a vegan ice cream parlour, located at bustling Yonge and Sherbourne on the ground floor of a condo building. Nestled right between busy office buildings and sunny residential streets, this super cute, family-run business is making a big splash in North York, with its banana-based soft serve and ice pops.

The company is headed by president and CEO Yazeed Yasin. “My wife, Tamara, and I always wanted to go into business together,” says Yazeed. “And, we found ourselves on a bit of a health kick, looking for healthy deserts.” Tamara (who also heads up the Product Development team) started adding her own touch and ingredients to frozen banana recipes to create Nanashake's delicious soft-serve. Friends would come over and sample the vegan ice cream to rave reviews. “I’m from a marketing background,” says Yazeed. “So I said ‘why not organize some focus groups?’”

The Nanashake soft serve was universally loved and the Yasins hit the ground running on their very own start up shop. In March of 2016, Nanashake opened its doors in North York and started serving up its vegan soft serve and ice pops to the neighbourhood.

We want our staff to make sure every customer leaves with an amazing experience. - Yazeed Yasin, owner
Nanataste offers six flavours of vegan, gluten-free soft serve, as well as rotating flavours of vegan ice cream bars
The Nanashake Product Development Team

"Be Your Own Banana"

Nanashake is a bright little parlour located in a modern, sleek food court. The parlour is tidy and small, with modern white accents offset by bright yellows and rich wood tones. Menu screens display the Nanashake soft serve flavours behind the counter: Chocolate Delight, Strawberry Funshine, Spiced Date, Rosey Pistachio, The Affogato and Minty Chocolate. A display case houses individually wrapped Nanapops, vegan ice cream bars on sticks in different flavours and with toppings like chopped almonds and chocolate drizzle. Inspirational quotes cover chalkboards, and block text covers the main accent wall opposite the counter with “Be Your Own Banana,” the shop’s catch-phrase. “No two Nanashakes are the same,” says Yazeed. “We want our staff to make sure every customer leaves with an amazing experience.”

The Nanashake soft serve comes in two sizes and with your choice of toppings, like chopped nuts, white Oreos, fresh dates and more. Nanashake ice cream is remarkably airy and thick, and gets the texture of soft serve spot on. The Chocolate Delight is a customer favourite. The banana base works perfectly in this ice cream, coming on strong and complimenting the chocolate. There’s a hint of peanut butter in there, too, just to round off the perfect combination of childhood flavours. It’s a really unique ice cream, and health conscious types will be thrilled to hear the soft serve is gluten free, vegan and made from all natural ingredients.

Nanashake serves up vegan, banana-based ice cream, like the popular Chocolate Delight

A Tiny Shop With A Big Heart

Nanashake is a family business and you feel that warmth as soon as you enter the shop. The staff are incredibly friendly and excited to share their product with customers. Everything in the store is made by hand in the morning by the Nanashake Product Development Team, and flavours of Nanapops rotate weekly. “We want our customers to be super excited about their next dessert,” says Irena, a member of the Nanashake Team. “We listen to our customers and we take their feedback really seriously.” One perk repeat customers enjoy is the Nanashake loyalty program. Launched from day one, for every five Nanashakes, customers receive a sixth free Nanashake.

Word of the tiny shop is spreading fast and happy customers are sending their friends and family over to Nanashake in droves. “We’ve depended on word of mouth for everything we’ve done,” says Yazeed. Customers have flocked in from Hamilton, Woodbridge and Oakville, and more keep pouring in every weekend for the kind staff, cute shop and rich vegan ice ream with a texture to die for.

Nanashake offers a customer loyalty program for lovers of their vegan, gluten-free soft serve ice cream
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