Sassi's vegan ice creams infused with Middle Eastern flavours are now available in the city Monday through Friday for your weekday lunchtime dessert fix.
Vegan ice creamery Sassi opens on Coromandel Place
Since 2019, Sassi Ice Cream, the vegan cold treat brand founded by former MasterChef contestant Huda Al-Sultan and her husband Adam Alhajji, has mostly existed ephemerally.
Save for the odd short-term pop-up at the Adelaide Central Market, Sassi has primarily been available at events, where it would serve dairy-free ice cream infused with flavours reminiscent of the founders’ Saudi Arabian heritage.
Fans of the ice creamery have also been able to purchase 500ml packs of Sassi goods online, but the ability to head out for a spontaneous cup or cone of Tahini Twist or Sage and Pomegranate Swirl has to date been heavily dependent on Adelaide’s event calendar.
Adam feels fortunate not to have invested in a long-term bricks-and-mortar space earlier on in Sassi’s life, given the turmoil of the last two years, but the couple this month opened Sassi’s first standalone store in the Adelaide CBD.
Located on Coromandel Place in the city’s north-eastern quadrant, Sassi’s store is a short-term tenancy found through Renew Adelaide, which the brand will occupy for the next six months.
“The location is not far from Rundle Mall, Fringe is coming, so it’s kind of Fringe area. That’s what made us interested in this,” Adam says.
“It might give us [an idea of whether] the city is a good fit.”
The store stocks the full core range of Sassi ice creams, of which there are seven, plus it will rotate an additional two limited edition flavours.
Sassi’s core range is Baklava Dream, Saffron Fever, Katayfe, Sage with Pomegranate Swirl, Tahini Twist, Mastic Addict and Muhallabia.
While these flavours were designed to keep Huda and Adam’s kids connected to their heritage, they’ve found the ice creams hit a nostalgic note for a much wider array of people than they expected.
“It’s not only our kids, also people who have been, for example, to the Middle East, or they have a background of the Mediterranean as well, like Greece or Serbians or Maltese or something, they come and try some of our flavours and, ‘This takes me back 40 years ago.’” Huda says.
Sassi will stock a small range of other sweets, some made by Huda and some sourced from other Adelaide makers. Everything in-store will be plant-based.
“We look at that like a great opportunity also to connect with other local businesses,” Huda says. “It’s good to have that kind of connection and support from each other.”
Sassi will also serve coffee, with Monday’s, who is the current lessee of the space and will be moving in after the ice cream pop-up, on board to supply beans.
Although Sassi’s tenancy is not permanent, Huda and Adam are excited for the additional exposure the site will offer their brand, and to finally be able to tell their adorers where Sassi can be found between events.
“People are asking us all the time, ‘Do you have a shop? How can we get your ice cream?’” Adam says. “Well, now we have a shop, if you want, you can come. And we might do Uber for deliveries, so it’s going to open more channels for the brand to grow.”
The couple doesn’t plan to run a large number of Sassi stores. Instead, they’re working towards a broad wholesale presence.
In addition to connecting her kids to their heritage, Huda also founded Sassi to provide vegan and dairy-intolerant people a quality version of ice cream, as “they usually struggle to find something good, delicious”, she says.
Making Sassi available through a network of local supermarkets and smaller groceries is the most effective way she and Adam can think of reaching the highest number of people.
Sassi Ice Cream is located at 7 Coromandel Place and opens 11am ‘til 2pm Monday through Friday, and opens 5:30pm ’til 8pm on Thursdays and Fridays.