How We Get the Job Done: Malai's Pooja Bavishi

The ice cream founder wants to convince you that Indian-inspired flavors are the frozen aisle's next big thing.

malai pooja bavishi
Pooja Bavishi of Malai (Malai Instagram)

Meghna Rao


February 28, 2019

For years, grocery store freezer sections have been dominated by the likes of Haagen Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s. Flavors were usually different combos of the same: vanilla, chocolate, cookie dough. But the ice cream consumer’s palette has started to broaden, and with it, the face of the frozen dessert aisle. Low-calorie ice cream company Halo Top displays its calorie count in bold lettering on the front of its cartons, and Malai founder Pooja Bavishi decorates the cartons of her Indian-inspired ice cream with colored rangolis.

It’s safe to say that it’s a bit of a moment for the ice cream world. This weekend, Pooja will open a store in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (after the success of a four-month pop-up shop in 2017). She also sells online, which feels natural once you catch a glimpse of the minimalism of her design.

But Pooja is more than an entrepreneur walking to the beat of an emerging ice cream trend. She has spent years studying and working on affordable housing, and envisioned a future as a lawyer for many years.

For Pooja, ice cream is a canvas to show the world who she is.

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