April 23, 2019
Manufacturing insights

Chef to manufacture marijuana ice cream in Framingham

Photo | Courtesy
David Yusefzadeh puts the finishing touches on a desert.
Photo | David Yusefzadeh
Cloud Creamery will manufacture cannabis-infused ice cream like this.
Photo | Matthew McLaughlin
Cloud Creamery will manufacture cannabis-infused ice cream like this.

Boston-area chef David Yusefzadeh will combine his passion for cooking along with the plant helping him cope with health issues into a new business featuring the first cannabis-infused ice cream sold in Massachusetts. The company, Cloud Creamery, is seeking a manufacturing license from the Cannabis Control Commission to operate a facility in Framingham. The founder and CEO spoke about his new business in an interview with WBJ.

Is the company based locally?

We're going to be based in Framingham. There's one confusing thing: We're not a retail shop where you can walk in and grab a cone. We're going to be producing, not selling on our behalf. We'll be selling to dispensaries and hopefully stores like Whole Foods other companies handling customer-facing scenarios.

You're hoping to sell at Whole Foods?

Our goal is to get in front of the Whole Foods clientele and people that really read the label and care about where their food is coming from.

It's not just about getting organic cannabis. It's about getting quality ingredients paired with it. That's lacking in a lot of edibles.

When was Cloud Creamery founded?

We started last year, and it's been a really long process. It depends on how soon we can get the answers on certain items. Getting a manufacturing license is great, but we have to be in a manufacturing-zoned area, but no kitchens exist in those areas. It's hard to find a place that would be lower budget but also efficient enough to put a kitchen in.

Most warehouses haven't been updated in a long time and aren't food friendly, which can be cost prohibitive. It took us some time to find a space, and we've been outfitting it since. It's been a process to say the least.

How is the ice cream infused with cannabis?

Some are actual flower, the buds, are actually in each. What's important is we want to celebrate the plant.

Distillate is a very accurate way to infuse, and if you're using great practices to achieve the distillate, you're in a great spot. But, a lot of people frown on distillate because they feel like it's thoughtless. The reality is if you have good practices going in, you'll have a great product coming out.

Some strains are based on flavor. If we love a certain kind of flower, we want to taste it. We'll take the cream, sugar and milk base and let flower steep inside of it to get the trichomes and flavor coming off of it.

How long does that process take?

Not long. We usually want to bring the cream to a simmer and turn the heat off. We let the flower steep in there for about an hour. We grind it up as small as possible to get as much surface area as possible to let it infuse.

The ice cream is made from scratch?

Absolutely.

How was this idea conceived?

The origination is the intersection of my professional background and my health. I was diagnosed with Crohn's's Disease in 2011, and I've been a chef my entire life. Cannabis has been something to help me with my appetite and reduce cramping and inflammation, which helps me sleep and regain my strength. It's a cycle.

A lot of the medication I was taking is really heavy and harsh. Cannabis is one element with low side effects, but I'm not a smoker. It seems synthetic to use droplets in your mouth so I wanted to find a way through food. I really saw an opportunity to create unique edibles and change the perception of what that can and should be.

How many products will be on the market?

We'll have a lot. We're emailing farms right now to get some local produce. We'll have a few staple flavors, but the overall idea is to really get seasonal and use vegetables with natural sugars.

Our goal is to focus on what we have when it's fresh, like a tomato sorbet in the summer, butternut squash in the fall or carrots in the spring.

This interview was conducted and edited for length and clarity by WBJ Staff Writer Zachary Comeau.

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