Indian-American ice cream maker opens up a storefront

Pooja Bavishi, founder and owner of Malai

NEW YORK – After former urban planner, Pooja Bavishi graduated from NYU Stern School of Business, she decided to join the ice cream making one.

Within the first few years of starting up her business, she came across much struggle, “it’s like you’re walking through these puddles, you can’t get a simple errand done, and you can’t get a cab,” she told amNewYork after receiving rejection upon rejection.

But in 2015, she eventually found a place in Brooklyn; Smorgasburg, an outdoor food market where she set up her ‘Malai’ stand to ice cream cups for $5 on the weekends.

Now her small Malai stand is moving to Gotham Market at The Ashland located on the border of Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn as Bavishi looks forward to owning her first storefront and selling her ice cream on the weekdays as well.

According to the Gotham List, Malai is the second tenant of Gotham Market at The Ashland’s incubation program after Crown Heights’ Crabby Shack opened there in February.

Now Bavishi not only has to sell cups of ice cream but she can sell slices of ice cream cake, warm sauces and chai floats as well as cones of ice cream and pints.

Bavishi makes her eggless ice creams by hand at Brooklyn FoodWorks in Bed-Stuy, in 15 flavors including rose with cinnamon roasted almonds, golden turmeric, palm sugar with tamarind caramel, masala chia, sea salt vanilla, orange fennel, masala chai, star anise, ginger root, salted browned butter pecan and Turkish coffee.

“Food, in general, is really social and familial and nostalgic, and I love that it has that distinct perspective for many. I try to think of dishes that I grew up with, or even just a memory of a flavor or smell, and I think about how I can make that into an ice cream flavor,” Bavishi told Gotham List.

In celebration of opening her new shop, Bavishi has come out with a new flavor called Fig on Fig, which is basically a fig leaf ice cream with a fig jam swirl.



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