Franchesa Yamsuan (“Frankie”) moved from the Philippines to Southern California when she was a child. She loved growing up in the relaxed and healthy lifestyle. She biked, surfed, hiked and made regular trips to the gym. When the gym started the Paleo Challenge, she was all for it. One of her favorite healthy foods was “dates shakes,” her combination of dates and coconut smoothies. One day she decided to experiment: What would happen if she put the date shake into her ice cream maker? Paleo ice cream happened!
It tasted so good that she took it to the gym to share it with her friends there. They wanted more and soon were buying pints of it from her. Word spread, orders increased, and Frankie had a real business going. Some budding entrepreneurs go the food truck route. Frank decided on a food bike—her “Icicle Tricycle.” Every weekend, there was a fitness event in the area, and Frankie was there with her coconut ice cream. Her biggest “Aha!” moment came when she noticed her customers making sandwiches with the ice cream.
All she had to do was make a paleo cookie—not so easy for the graduate in culinary sciences. She had had no interest in pastry making. Undaunted, she went through many potential recipes until she found the perfect soft and chewy cookie texture by using almond butter. The cookie was a wonderful complement to the rich ice cream made with creamy coconut milk and sweetened with dates, honey and maple syrup.
Coconut Girl cookie sandwiches are 100% natural. They are paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free; without chemicals or food coloring. The bonus is that the sandwiches are huge and yet only 250 calories!
There are three fabulous flavors: Aloha Chocolate, Hang Loose Vanilla and Beach Bum Maple. Because they are handcrafted in small batches, they taste like homemade and are the first and only frozen cookie sandwich available in grocery stores—more than 70 at this time, including Whole Foods, throughout Southern California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii.
Frankie started and grew Coconut Girl by herself. She had no partners or business plan, just a determination that ice cream lovers with restrictions, such as dairy or gluten, should have delicious desserts. She is loyal to the local suppliers who have supported her from the beginning. Most of the ingredients are still sourced locally from people she knows and trusts.