Saturday, April 23, 2022

Taking It To Market: Karabella Dairy Gelato Now Available at The Marketplace

A year-round staple, our love for ice cream and gelato makes it an enduring all-time favorite for many. Rain or shine. Now a new gelato brand hits the supermarket shelves...

What began as a social enterprise project back in 2015 to help local carabao farmers earn more by creating a value-added product has blossomed into a promising venture led by Alfred Ng, Jan Buenaflor and EJ Buenaflor. Karabella Dairy takes its indulgent line of gelato made with real carabao's milk to market starting with The Marketplace. It's sweet success for the dynamic trio behind Karabella Dairy, and this is just the start.

The brand takes inspiration from the Spanish word "caraballa" or female carabao, and the name already highlights the key point of differentiation setting it apart from the rest. Drilling it down further, "kara" and "bella" means "beloved" and "beautiful" for an endearing tribute to the local carabao. For Alfred, Jan and EJ, the carabao remains both central and essential to the brand's identity. After all, the origins of the brand brings it back to the local carabao farmers to close the loop in a full circle. 

It's this story that makes Karabella Dairy both unique and different, transforming an advocacy into sweet frozen indulgence that not only makes you smile but helps support farming communities too. The bright and vibrant colors of the packaging gives the brand a youthful and playful vibe and this is further reinforced with their creative approach to flavors. The blend of traditional as well as innovative and often playfully surprising flavor combinations reflect the creative spirit behind the brand. Bazooka Bubblegum and Salted Egg Caramel are just some of the unique flavors from Karabella Dairy, and you can expect even more exciting flavors from Alfred, Jan and EJ. 

Just recently, Karabella Dairy is now more accessible with product availability in one of the metro's popular supermarket chains. From direct orders at 0917 190 5797 or online via and their website at Dairy products can now be found in the following branches of The Marketplace: Rockwell, McKinley, El Terrazo, Shangri-La, Katipunan, Central Square BGC, Makati, Glorietta, Ayala Alabang and Santolan Town Plaza. 

The ice cream and gelato markets are intensely competitive categories with new artisan brands alongside enduring and well-known commercial names. You can say entering an already established and cluttered market can be a tough nut to crack. The market demands a product of exceptional quality to be noticed by the fickle palates of today's social media savvy consumers. And Alfred, Jan and EJ used the two-year long quarantine experience to refine and perfect their offerings as well as preparing all the documentation needed in anticipation of the gradual reopening of the economy and eventual roll-out to supermarkets. 

Many say it's all about the timing. And now, you can find the full range of Karabella Dairy products in the freezers of selected locations of The Marketplace. Just in time too, when everyone is bent on going back in full force to make up for lost time during the quarantine. Plus, the brand offers something unique to differentiate it from other gelato brands.

Fresh carabao's milk, that's the brand's key point of differentiation from other gelato brands in the market. Karabella Dairy's gelato offerings are made with 100% pure and fresh carabao's milk resulting in a creamier and more intense and concentrated burst of flavor. With 25% less air and more milk, the resulting gelato is denser, silkier and smoother as compared to regular ice cream. That means you get all the dairy goodness in each pint and tub from Karabella Dairy.

The use of carabao's milk also works well with the silky smooth texture and dense finish of gelato, churned with more milk and less air than ice cream for a richer flavor experience. Sourcing all their fresh carabao's milk from a cooperative in Cavite, Karabella Dairy prioritizes local ingredients to help small and medium enterprises with a longer term vision in creating jobs and strengthen the local economy. And it turns out that carabao's milk may be healthier than the usual dairy option with 58% more calcium, 40% more protein and 43% less cholesterol. A lower percentage of fat, with fewer calories and less sugar per serving, carabao's milk delivers richer flavors to sweeten your gelato experience.

Alfred Ng, Jan and EJ Buenaflor recently showcased the gelato selection of Karabella Dairy at Commune Cafe + Bar one summer afternoon with some of their best-selling flavor creations. In addition to their advocacy of promoting homegrown products and businesses, Karabella Dairy aims to be recognized as one of the finest and authentic local gelato makers in the country. That afternoon, we experienced pure gelato indulgence...

...and discovered just how much of a difference fresh carabao's milk makes for that silky smooth finish and burst of flavor with Karabella Dairy. Now with twenty gelato flavors including Regular and Premium variants, the wide range of inventive creations all made with fresh carabao's milk and with absolutely no additives offer a unique twist to the gelato experience. 

Take the Caramel Popcorn, an inspired play on familiar flavors and the newest offering from Karabella Dairy. The sweetness of the popular caramel popcorn is transformed, swirled in a gelato creation that just brings a smile with each bite. The Salted Egg Caramel with its distinct blend of sweet and salty notes is another creative gelato expression with its contrasting yet balanced finish. It's an unusual combination but it works with the sweetness of the caramel delicately tempered by the subtle salty hints of the salted egg for perfectly balanced flavors. It's just one of many locally-inspired flavors from Karabella Dairy like their Ube Halaya, Turon with Langka with real caramelized saba and sweet langka bits, Kopi-Oh made with kapeng barako from Batangas and Bazooka Bubblegum for a familiar and nostalgic taste of a childhood favorite. 

And there's more. Indulge with the Tablea Chocolate made with 100% dark chocolate, Roasted White Chocolate Cashew made with award-winning Auro Chocolate, Sorvete de Manga, Leche Flan, Peanut Butter, Tsa'a Latte and Pastillas de Leche.

The gelato wizardry of Karabella Dairy is further highlighted with their boozy alcohol-infused gelato line with its distinctive dark packaging...

...with flavors like Chocoholic blended with Don Papa Rhum, Tequila Cream, Ube Cream Liqueur and Salted Caramel Vodka. Imagine hints of your favorite spirit or liquor blended in a silky smooth and creamy gelato delivering a cool burst of indulgence as it melts on your palate. The bold notes of the alcohol doesn't overwhelm the gelato, adding a flavorful depth to your Karabella Dairy gelato experience.  

The Ube Cream Liqueur is one naughty and wicked concoction dreamed up by Karabella Dairy with its rich and decadent finish taken a notch higher with the local sweet ube-based liqueur. It's inventive creations like this that keep Karabella Dairy in step with the times providing even more tempting options for the picky palates of today's consumers. 

Shifting gears, let Karabella Dairy warm up your palate with this cool gem of a find. Like a blast from the past, the nostalgic and comfortingly familiar notes of your childhood favorite gum takes you back to countless summers with each bite of the Bazooka Bubblegum for a unique and special gelato experience.

Unrestrained and out-of-the-box, Karabella Dairy reimagines gelato with their own take on real flavors using 100% fresh carabao's milk and the finest local ingredients for a product that not only stands out but adds to the overall richness and diversity of the competitive ice cream and gelato segment. That means even more choices and options for gelato lovers at the frozen section of supermarkets. And each pint and tub you purchase goes a long way in supporting local farming communities. It's a brand where everybody wins, something we all need after two long years of the quarantine experience. 

That day at Commune Cafe + Bar, more pints of Karabella Dairy were scooped for endless rounds of gelato indulgence. Former banker and now gelato master EJ Buenaflor recalls his childhood filled with ice cream memories including trips abroad with ice cream as a major part of the itinerary. Living the dream, EJ learned from the very best to pursue his gelato passions everyday at Karabella Dairy. And innovation never stops as EJ is determined to surprise and delight your palates with his creations at Karabella Dairy.

One for the road? Absolutely. The boozy Chocoholic made with premium local dark chocolate and Don Papa Rhum soothes the palate with its double dose of richness from the local chocolate and rum...

...while the Sorvete de Manga teases the palate with its luscious sweetness from real local mangoes. Add a scoop or two on native suman with coconut cream at home for an indulgent spin on a local delicacy made even better with Karabella Dairy.

At the end of the sampling, it was only fitting to cap the gelato experience with the Affogato at Commune Cafe + Bar. The best local coffee beans meets its match with the silky smooth Vanilla Gelato made with local fresh carabao's milk for the perfect ending to an afternoon of pure indulgence.  

But my story with Karabella Dairy doesn't end just yet. A quick visit to The Marketplace at Santolan Town Plaza confirms the availability of the full line of Karabella Dairy Gelato in the glass-topped chest freezers for an indulgent gelato run to beat the summer heat. A local classic, the Ube Halaya, is my first pick...    

...recreating the deep nutty richness of local ube finished with a decadent smoothness and creamy finish from fresh carabao's milk for pure indulgence with each scoop. The thick and dense texture drapes the palate with its lingering and soothing notes, intensifying as it slowly melts releasing even more flavors. The depth of flavors and rounded mouthfeel tells you this can only come from the freshest and finest local ingredients. 

Karabella Dairy brings the premium chocolate from Auro Chocolate to their next variant, the Roasted White Chocolate Cashew for another masterful creation. The sweetness of white chocolate weaves seamlessly with the roasted cashews for rich yet refined flavors.

Elegance in simplicity defines this variant with its pure and uncluttered flavors, with the distinct notes of white chocolate and roasted cashews coming together in a delicate balance without overpowering the other. The creamy texture from the fresh carabao's milk completes this variant, definitely another must-try from Karabella Dairy.

We've heard similar narratives before, but Karabella Dairy takes it to heart with its unwavering support for farming communities and proudly homegrown and local ingredients. And the result is gelato of exceptional quality made with 100% fresh carabao's milk. It's an inspiring story that began as a social enterprise and continues to flourish hitting the commercial mainstream as it finally rolls out to supermarkets alongside key players in a competitive segment. And it's the sweet taste of success where everybody wins, from local carabao farmers to small and medium scale enterprises supplying raw ingredients all the way to lovers of gelato looking for pure and real indulgence in every pint and tub that continues to drive Karabella Dairy. Bring home a pint or two, and rediscover gelato in a refreshing new experience made better with fresh carabao's milk. Just hit the links below or simply head to The Marketplace location nearest you...

For more on Karabella Dairy, visit their website at and their FB Page at for updates. You can also call 0917 190 5797 for orders. 

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