It’s amazing speaking to someone who is insanely passionate about what they do. Especially when what they do is something as simple as making sorbet. Fruit, sugar and ice. That’s it, or at least, that’s how it should be. Nick and Tessa Mencia are the creators of Real Sorbet, a small cart that’s developed a big following by selling all organic and locally sourced sorbet around South Florida. This Saturday they will be scooping at the Yo ♥ 305 gallery during Art Walk. The Product 81 team sat down with Nick to discuss all things fruity and frozen.
P81: Tell us about Real Sorbet.
Nick: We are a small batch sorbet company. We use all local, all organic ingredients and stay as close to the farms as possible. We pick the fruit that day and in most cases make the sorbets that day. Our menus change with the seasons. We believe in using fruit at its peak ripeness when it has the most nutritional value and when it tastes the best.
P81: So it sounds like your environmental impact is important to you as a company.
Nick: That’s the concept. Keeping our footprint really small while giving someone a nice, clean, happy, healthy product. We wanted something that was vegan, gluten free that anybody could enjoy. When you use really good ingredients, you don’t need many.
P81: How did you get started with Real Sorbet?
Nick: An old friend started an ice cream company so I started working for him. Then my wife and I started making sorbets in a small batch table top unit, sharing them with our friends at dinner parties, and we thought we should make a go of this, so here we are. It’s satisfying to conceptualize for so long and to actually be scooping and serving it now and making people happy.
P81: What makes South Florida special for organic, local fruit?
Nick: South Florida is such an amazing place for fruit. While there are ingredients that are indicative to South Florida like citrus, one of the special things about it is that it has the ability, because of the climate, to grow a lot of fruit that’s not necessarily classically indicative of South Florida, but has become part of the culture. A good example of that is the lychee, which is a Chinese fruit. It can almost be like a metaphor for Miami in general, where a lot of cultures have come to make their home.
P81: What is it like being out on the streets everyday scooping sorbet and meeting people?
Nick: I really love working on the street, you meet all sorts of interesting, wacky people. We want to be as much a part of the community as we can. We want to contribute and be a positive force, albeit a small one, and just make people happy. The response has been overwhelmingly positive