Wild flavors from Wild Island

Posted:  Friday, August 17, 2018 - 8:45am
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The flavors are as exotic as the name of the company behind them: Radiant Red Zingerberry, Cosmic Cold Brew, and Night Blooming Jasmine. They’re the offerings of Wild Island, a Boothbay Harbor-based ice cream company that sets up Thursdays at the Boothbay Farmers’ Market.

Even more flavors exist in the head of Summer Ball-Galvis, co-founder along with husband Dave. “Hundreds,” said Dave, who described himself as the “business guy” behind the brand. “She has a world-class palate.”

It’s a flavor sensibility developed in Ball-Galvis’s youth. The couple moved to Boothbay Harbor from Maui three years ago and launched the business a year later. Dave Galvis said Maine was the “perfect place” to establish a home-based commercial kitchen where his wife’s creativity can run wild.

“She doesn’t work from recipes. Just her imagination.”

And when she hits upon a flavor that has commercial possibilities? “I have to go back and reverse engineer it,” he said, laughing.

The ice creams are vegan-friendly and non-dairy. These facts are prominent in Wild Island’s signage. The Galvises said inspiration for that came from a decidedly practical place.

“That’s me loving ice cream,” Ball-Galvis said. “I’ve had three pregnancies and craved it, but I couldn’t have it all the time because it wasn’t healthy enough.”

“Every ingredient has a health benefit,” her husband said. There is an environmental benefit, too: The packaging is biodegradable.

Ball-Galvis has dreamed up flavors that include turmeric, herbs, Chaga mushrooms and even apple cider vinegar, which she used in a flavor she described as “smashed bourbon caramel apple.”

“It’s just a thought,” she said. “A picture. I imagine a flavor, and then I try to make it happen.”

Here’s the description for Wild Blue Vanilla, one of the flavors Wild Island offered Thursday, Aug. 16:

“Rare and exotic vanillas made wilder with butterfly pea flowers. Taste the Wild Blue Yonder, with benefits … High in antioxidants, mood elevating, excellent for skin health.”

With that kind of marketing, you might rightly conclude the Galvises aren’t aiming at a mass market. They do have some distribution. Their products are carried by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and by Tendercrop Farms in Dover, New Hampshire, and Newbury, Massachusetts. And the Galvises expect to expand, first to Indiana. “We have family there,” Dave said. “You go where you have help.”

The Galvises envision a different kind of market for their ice cream, one for customers who appreciate the craftsmanship and the emphasis on healthy living.

“Fitness clubs,” Dave Galvis said. “Rehabilitation centers. We’re at that sweet spot.”

And, of course, they are at the Farmers’ Market.

“This was the perfect spot,” he said. “It’s a natural market.”