Nancy Passaretti on BuddhaBerry

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Courtesy of Nancy Passaretti

From sorbet, ice cream and frozen yogurt to smoothies, coffee, acai bowls, crepes and waffles, Sag Harbor’s BuddhaBerry has changed the way people approach frozen desserts in the village. The Express talked with owner, Nancy Passaretti to discuss her new take on the popular dessert.

What was the inspiration for BuddhaBerry?
My family and I are frozen yogurt addicts, we literally eat it every single night living in the city and we would come out to the Hamptons and be so excited to be here and be like “Oh my god we can’t eat frozen yogurt out here!” We were so bummed out that couldn’t have our frozen yogurt. I was becoming very dissatisfied with my corporate career and I didn’t like certain things about some of the yogurt stores so I always had this vision in the back of my head.

Since my kids were eating it every day I told them that they couldn’t eat the crap and the candy all the time. We would go to the market near our house and we would buy healthy, organic toppings like raw cocoa and quinoa and brought them home to make our own topping bar.

What makes BuddhaBerry standout from competition?
Each year I visit food shows in New York, Los Angeles and around the world to find new and amazing products to serve at BuddhaBerry. Our customers are always surprised and delighted to walk in to our shop to find an ever-changing array of interesting toppings, foods and yogurt selections. When I first opened BuddhaBerry, it was mainly “superfood” toppings like quinoa, but then I realized that I needed to bring it to more of a mass market so we brought
in things for everyone. We still have the healthy options but also bring in the candy. There’s something for everyone.

Where makes your ingredients unique?
I travelled around the country for a year prior to opening the business — visiting dairy farms and yogurt manufacturing plants all over the country. We source from an organic dairy farm in upstate New York. We use bulky ingredients in everything – our dairy and coconut milk yogurts and our sorbets. That means all of our yogurts
have real ingredients – never flavor boosters. Real berries and fruit purees are in our fresh sorbets. High grade Japanese matcha is expertly blended with real coconut milk in our delicious and very popular vegan matcha flavor.

What’s your go-to frozen yogurt creation?
My current go-to is our 0 fat natural, which is like a frozen Greek yogurt taste, topped with sliced toasted almonds, mini dark chocolate chips, and a few fresh raspberries.

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Madeline Hinderstein is an intern at The Sag Harbor Express and studies Communications & Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University.