Loo Ching Hsin, Chloe
In this interview, Loo Ching Hsin – Chloe, tells her journey of switching from being a pharmacist to a vegan ice cream maker.
What do you do?
I am a self-taught vegan ice cream maker. I try my best to make vegan ice cream from the most natural ingredients possible, without using any instant ice cream paste from any suppliers.
How did you get into the industry?
I was working as a retail pharmacist for the past 15 years. My third started to develop severe eczema when he was four months old. Scratchy sleepless nights and waking up to see bloody stains on the pillowcase became a norm.
We did tests and find out that he’s highly allergic to dairy, eggs, nuts and much more! As he was a fully breastfed baby, I was so afraid to eat. So I started to self learn allergy-free cooking and baking, for myself and him!
I remembered rushing him to Accident & Emergency when he was almost two years old. Naive me thinking that he should be after drinking that tiny quarter cup of Milo. Within 15 minutes, his whole face swelled up so much and I was panicking!
I remembered him saying that he hates birthdays as he can’t eat most of the cakes! I taught myself to make him allergy-free cakes. For his first and second birthdays, I made a fruit cake – fruit carved into a cake shape. That was just the beginning.
Fast forward to now. He is already eight years old. Though he still cannot tolerate dairy, we are very happy. He has learnt what he can and cannot eat. I make vegan ice creams for him and vegan birthday cakes, so he has no reason to hate birthdays anymore!
Share with us a story from behind the scenes.
During the research and development phase, I force my family to try them all out! Sometimes I bring six or seven flavours to my brother’s house and we have an ice cream buffet.
What’s a food memory from your childhood that stands out?
There’s one Hakka delicacy that was made by my grandmother. Too bad that none of my aunties or my mum remembered what it was. Hence to date, I’m constantly looking out for that “Hakka-brown-coloured steamed cake.”
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best part is being able to make different flavours of ice cream for my boys! And quitting my long hours of pharmacy retail work means I get to spend more quality time with the boys!
Besides that, I do receive many great reviews from customers. People with diabetes and cancer survivors can enjoy ice cream without guilt, putting a smile on everyone’s face.
Learning to be an entrepreneur, everything is so new and there are so many new things to learn!
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
Being a vegan now, tofu is a must for me in every home-cooked meal! And, coffee. I can’t live without it!
What’s one of the most memorable things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
Rushing a batch of ice cream for customers. At that time I did not own a big ice cream machine, so I was using my KitchenAid. I accidentally broke one of the parts and I had to look high and low for the replacement. Luck was on my side and I managed to find it and get my ice cream done in time for my customer. Phew!
The perfect day off would be…
…chilling with my family or trying out some recipes in the kitchen!
A day in the life of Loo Ching Hsin is…
As an ice cream maker – busy in the kitchen, cooking the base, churning the ice creams, rolling out the waffle cones. As a marketer – roll out marketing plans. As a salesperson – replying to messages and closing sales. As a mum – chasing my boys to finish up homework and their house chores. As a wife – TLC to my dear husband.
What do you do for fun?
I love to strength train! I miss my gym and my trainer a lot!
I love to check out recipes online and make different and funny food for my family. Some taste horrible, some are actually quite nice!
Practice my cake decorating skills too!
What’s something you’d like guests to know about negative12degrees vegan ice cream? For all negative12degrees vegan ice cream, we do not use instant ice cream paste from the manufacturer! My boys eat these ice creams almost daily! I want to be sure they are healthy for them, hence ingredients-wise we do not use any additional preservatives, flavourings and colourings. They are as natural as they can be!
How has the pandemic changed you, your perspective, or the way you operate?
I had to look for opportunities out there and be ready to explore.
What’s something you’d like people to know about being an artisan ice cream maker as a profession?
We put in all our heart to create healthy tasty vegan ice creams, to be able to enjoy without guilt.
What’s your view on the food scene in KL?
Kuala Lumpur’s unique mix of cultures is evident in its diverse culinary scene. However, people are getting more health-conscious. Hence healthy vegan ice creams like ours will fit in nicely!
How has the pandemic changed you as a person?
I am living in the moment! I cherish every one around me and try to live life to the fullest! You never know what’s going to happen next!
How has the pandemic changed you as an entrepreneur?
I had to adapt and learn. Digital marketing is something really new to me!
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
I am working on my second kiosk! Also a few more interesting sugar-free flavours!