Peterborough entrepreneur Brooke Hammer has created a unique—and yummy—product called NICEcream that consumers are raving about, and that is scaling locally and beyond.
Hammer, who took home multiple awards including the FastStart Innovation Award, the Women’s Business Network of Peterborough Award and the StartUp Peterborough People's Choice Award at the recent Bears' Lair entrepreneurial competition in Peterborough, is building terrific buzz about her product.
Founder Brooke Hammer (at left) with Innovation Cluster's Rosalea Terry at product launch event (Photos from launch by MossWorks Photography)
NICEcream is a delicious ice cream made entirely from bananas (no extra ingredients or preservatives are added), and is the signature product from Brooke's new startup Chimp Treats. NICEcream recently launched at Amuse Coffee Co., and people are going bananas for it.
"The reaction to it has been overwhelmingly positive," Hammer tells PTBOCanada. "As we all know, children are incredibly (and sometimes brutally) honest, but all of the children at our launch party loved it—and moms loved it too! I could not be happier with the way Peterborough has been responding to the product, and the kind words and encouragement that they've shared with me."
This healthy junk food alternative is available to order online, and is already available at Jo Anne's Place Health Foods, Amusé Coffee Co., Play Café and Baked 4 Uin Peterborough. It will be expanding to other local retailers in the upcoming weeks and months, and plans are in the works to expand to retailers in Toronto and beyond.
NICEcream is unique in that Chimp Treats is recreating everyone’s favorite junk foods entirely from fruit. It is essentially junk free junk food, a delicious product that tastes like a treat but is healthy. Sweet!
Hammer, who credits the Innovation Cluster, FastStart Peterborough and Peterborough Economic Development for helping her develop and scale this business, plans to roll out other products—all made from fruit—down the road. "We're changing the game completely by reimagining 'junk food'," says Hammer, who studied Business & Entrepreneurship at Trent University.
"We've partnered with Sustainable Peterborough, River City Farms (they'll be utilizing our thousands of banana peels for compost for their crops) and local strawberry farmers (via the Agricultural Society) to create a strawberry banana NICEcream for the PTBO Ex," Hammer tells PTBOCanada. "We will also be present at many festivals and events in the coming months, such as the Peterborough Yoga Festival, Hootenanny on Hunter and more!"
Sampling NICEcream at launch event
Hammer tells PTBOCanada she has huge plans for the business outside Peterborough. "We are currently negotiating with a co-packer (and distributor), and have partnered with amazing investors, so we predict being available across Ontario within the next four months and across Canada within the next seven months. I am planning on growing this business on an international scale."
Customers sampling NICEcream at launch event
It would not surprise us one bit to see Brooke Hammer's Peterborough startup become a global hit someday soon, and NICEcream to become a household name.