Allan Blondeau and Mariah Whittaker know how to make a decent ice cream: though new, their Mount Maunganui scoop shop, Sea People, has earned a legion of followers. Serving up beloved classics alongside an inventive rotation of seasonal specials (apple pecan crumble anyone?) their ice cream isn’t just delicious, but entirely plant-based and gluten-free, too.
Why did you get into the ice-cream game?
We loved the idea of creating a product that brings joy and is an iconic and nostalgic part of every Kiwi’s childhood (and adulthood). Ice cream is an incredible vessel for creativity, and the flavour combinations are endless.
What makes yours different?
We use the best ingredients possible and create unique flavours, making sure we source each product in the most sustainable way. We make the cashew nut and coconut milk blend for our ice-cream base, and all inclusions such as brownie, pie crust, shortbread and waffle cones are made in-house.
Tell us about the shop’s design.
It was designed in collaboration with Tauranga-based business, Homewerk. We stuck to simple yet beautiful elements and materials, with an emphasis on shape and texture to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Where did you find inspiration?
The ocean and our Polynesian roots were our biggest inspiration – from our bespoke wave counter with ocean current-like plastering finish, original modular wave bench seats, and the use of ultramarine blue. The addition of natural flax squabs for the cantilever seating was inspired by ancient Pacifica art and textiles.
The best thing about running an ice-cream shop?
Seeing our customers’ faces and reactions when they taste our creations, as well as the kids’ excitement. We also love telling the story of our ancestors through our product. It’s a humbling reminder of why we started and where we came from.
143 Mt Maunganui Road, Mt Maunganui