Serving flavours like prosecco and pear and sgroppino al Limone, it’s safe to say Heven-Ya Gelato is not just your average gelateria. Created by sisters Holly and Amy Prosser after becoming inspired during a trip to Portugal Heven-Yah Gelato is located in a beautifully renovated 1950’s building in Mermaid Beach. With a focus on staying as close to tradition as possible and creating flavours based on seasonal produce availability, Heven-Yah is a must visit for drool-worthy scoops to suit all tastebuds.
Inspired by the heavenly Lemon Sorbetto recipe we published in Silk Laundry Magazine Volume 1 | Edition 2, we decided to sit down with Amy and Holly from Heven-Yah Gelato for a chat about everything from ‘the’ scoop to taking on the Gold Coast gelato scene one flavour at a time.
First of all, I think it’s important to answer the most meaningful question of; what is your favourite flavour or flavour combo?
It’s the scoop of creme fraiche straight from the churn. Achieved simply by the hand held cone, no napkin, collecting the first wave out of the barrel of the machine. The effect of the cold, sweet and lactic meeting the nutty, crisp of the cone is fantastic.
We’ve read that you and your family have always felt connected by and brought together by food, why gelato?
What started as a yearly Christmas tradition of making watermelon granitas, flavours of mango, melon, raspberry, and lemon sorbets soon turned into an obsession with the luminous refreshing joy churned and shared.
How, if at all, has your dynamic changed as sisters since opening a business together and what piece of advice could you give to other siblings who are starting out?
I was once invited to a lecture on Families in Business when we first introduced the idea of us working together. Which, for me anyway, was like someone telling me that I’d soon learn the experience of changing a dirty dish sponge with a new one could put me in a good mood. You’ll just learn as you go. You’ll learn to adapt and grow with each other, learn to support and listen and learn the power of apologising.
Where do you feel most inspired?
Dinner conversations, through well buttered bread and the plastic coated pages of a menu. Stories told and suggestions made through unfamiliar sounds on soon to be familiar streets. Around the people that teach you, share memories, make you laugh and share their food.
Could you give us a rundown on the creative process from development to scooping a new batch?
For us it’s mostly about the process around what inspires a new flavour to emerge. It could be a dessert eaten after a meal, a walk through the weekly morning markets, a flavour request, a netflix food doco, a flick through a cookbook. For us it’s about being open to create, to trial and test in between making our in store favourites. Which always circles back to being about enjoying good food and the experiences that come along with that.
How long did it take to perfect ‘the’ gelato scoop (which, by the way, is so beautiful)?
It’s all about the theatre, which for some is easily achieved. The working of the gelato with the spatula, the generous slather of the soft gelato, the sling of the shiny stainless steel lids of the pozzetti all do the trick. There’s a whole artistry to it, taking time and practice to perfect. For us there is equal delight in someone enjoying our scoops as our joy in creating them, but it took some time.
Since opening your shopfront, you’ve imported and installed a beautiful Pozzetti for storing your gelato, can you explain why this was important for Heven-Yah?
For us it was important that we were not only going to make authentic, artisanal, Italian style gelato but that we would try and capture that feeling of an authentic Italian Gelateria and the Pozzetti does the trick. Good gelato is soft and over time will settle like pudding and the shiny lidded stainless steel Pozzetti keep the gelato in peak condition. They’re air and moisture tight and allow the gelato to be served warmer, typically around 7-12 degrees. Because it is served warmer you also get more of the flavours intensity.
Why push towards local consumption of natural ingredients for your gelato?
All of our gelato is made small batch, from scratch and on site with no artificial flavouring or colouring, ever. There is no gelato without great ingredients, creating its uniform creamy texture and intensity of flavour we have grown to love. Fruit is fresh, seasonal and always local. Our milk is family owned and operated, committed to sustainability and most importantly still has that layer of fresh cream on top. All of the hard work has already been done by the incredible local artisans growing and perfecting their craft, our work is simply to showcase that.
With everything that is happening in the world right now, we think it’s so important to remind ourselves of what we’re thankful for. Who or what are you grateful for in your community?
It’s important to put it all into perspective and seek out the positive. It’s those unexpected or surprising things that make us especially grateful for during this challenging time. The opportunity to slow down, reflect and connect and be reminded of all of those little unique things that are specific to our own lives that we are thankful for. Watching our community get creative when it comes to forging ahead and evolving in these times has been beautiful to be a part of.
A Recipe From Heven-Yah Gelato
200g lemon juice
479g filtered water
295g raw sugar
Put the lemon juice and water in a bowl and whiz briefly with a hand-held blender to combine.
Gradually add the raw sugar to the lemon juice mixture, blending all the while, until well combined and sugar has completely dissolved.
Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker following your manufacturer's instructions.
Or alternatively, pour the mixture into a container and transfer it to the freezer beating well every hour or so to ensure that it doesn't form large ice crystals. Quickly return the container to the freezer after each mix. This procedure should be followed over several hours.
You can find Holly and Amy slinging scoopfuls of joy and deliciousness Thursday through Sunday from 2-9pm at their Mermaid Beach store, or catch a glimpse of their very aesthetically pleasing shopfront and treats @hevenyah_gelato