Crema Lusso is the first of its kind in the U.S. food service industry. The company, owned and run by twin sisters Jennifer Lynch and Sarah Ray, offers the food service industry an innovative, ready-to-use liquid gelato and ice cream mix.
Crema Lusso was developed as a result of the sisters’ passion for creativity and culture and most importantly, as second-generation Italian Americans, a way to honor their grandfather and his love for gelato. The twin sisters’ creativity was first found in their passion for music. “We moved to New York City in our early 20s to pursue a career as musicians. It was our first multi-cultural experience and we wanted to experience more of what the world has to offer, so we ended up traveling to Italy. That was really when our minds began to open to all the unique beauty there is to be found within various cultures of the world and their various culinary aspects. That was when a new dream was formed, one in the culinary field,” explained Ray.
Around the time they moved to Europe their grandfather passed away. “When we decided to develop this company, we wanted to create a product that not only we thought was great but was something that could respond to existing needs in the food marketplace,” said Lynch. “It was even more important to us that we honor our grandfather. It was more than honoring something that he loved, but also a way to keep his legacy alive.”
Lynch and Ray were still living in Italy when they first developed the company, so the design and development of the product was alongside Italian chefs. The company began with soft launches to receive feedback from professionals in the field. “We were really able to develop something that was truly authentic,” Lynch explained. “In the early years, Crema Lusso was developed and produced in Italy then imported into the United States.”
Crema Lusso’s priority has always been to serve the food service professional. “It was our desire to create a more cost-effective way for food service professionals to make premium ice cream and gelato with natural and organic ingredients. We were able to do just that in our creation of a shelf-stable, ready-to-use liquid dairy mix.”
The Pandemic has enabled the duo to establish a direct-to-consumer presence over the past 18 months. “Not only was [DTC] very successful, but that very same consumer also dines out regularly. So, as we grow our foodservice trade, we have a better understanding of consumer taste to share with our restaurant and hospitality operators and the distributors that serve them.”
Last year also marked Crema Lusso’s debut at the NICRA (National Ice Cream Retailers Association). This generated a lot of enthusiasm from ice cream and gelato shop operators as they saw Crema Lusso as a way to save them time and money while delivering a premium customer experience. These operators were also enthusiastic about Crema Lusso’s new vegan formula that will be available in the spring. “Being able to offer premium frozen desserts to the growing vegan customer will be a game changer for them,” said Lynch.
Crema Lusso was designed for chefs to use for traditional gelato, ice cream, or other frozen desserts by using a batch freezer machine. But, Crema Lusso also is great in a baked format as a wet ingredient for pastries.
“Let’s say a food service operator has a high demand for strawberry gelato. He’s going to grab the Crema Lusso from his dry storage, pour it into a mixing bowl with fresh strawberries or other flavoring, blend it together, and throw it into the gelato machine. For baked goods, Crema Lusso contains emulsifying agents needed in basic recipes, limiting the need for other ingredients,” emphasized Ray.
Crema Lusso also understands that its long-term success is based on the company’s ability to support the professional chef in their search to create signature desserts. With that in mind, the Crema Lusso website offers a full portfolio of delectable recipes. “Jennifer and I are the visionaries and the minds behind the magic,” Ray explained. “Where we really shine and what we love to do is create recipes. Our Instagram is overloaded with recipe footage, insights, tips, and useful ideas. We are right alongside our food service operators as a partner to help them develop menu ideas.”
With today’s restaurant and foodservice professional busy welcoming back customers, the operator needs to know that the product is readily available. “Sysco provides us with the national distribution, but a large part of our responsibility is to bring customers in and hold the product through the Sysco catalog by customer request. We also work with specialty ice cream distributors. Here in southern California, we work with Southwest Traders. About 80% of their clientele are shops and retail chains that serve frozen desserts, so we are well suited for them because we can really make the clienteles’ lives much easier by streamlining their operation. There is also interest in us because we are a woman-owned business. I think as we continue to seek out further distribution channels, these are the type of partners we’re looking for,” said Ray
Recently, Crema Lusso has moved a key part of its manufacturing in-house. This will allow them to better respond to the bulk needs of the nation’s distributors. With a marketplace full of supply chain issues, Crema Lusso is sure to have product readily available in late spring in time for ice cream season.
Details about the product and its usage may be found under the wholesale tab on the Crema Lusso website, and the product may be purchased directly through the site. “For interested food distributors, we love to have conversations about how you can use this product and how we can help you with regards to menu development,” Ray concluded.
To learn more about Crema Lusso, visit their website