Nestled in a little, shoebox-size storefront amid the hustle and bustle of baseball season in Boston is FoMu’s newest location endeavor. The Boston-based creamery—with the word “creamery” used loosely, as FoMu’s doesn’t serve your typical dairy-filled ice cream—opened its Fenway location on March 22, squished right alongside the caffeine-fueled foot traffic of a busy Starbucks. Albeit a bit pricey, FoMu delivers alternative ice cream to an area rich with the burgers and beer standard to Fenway.
FoMu broke into the ice cream scene of Boston about eight years ago, putting a twist on traditional ice cream and pastries filled with dairy. Here’s the deal: Instead of whipping up ice cream with milk like traditional creameries do, FoMu primarily uses coconut milk to design its delicious flavors.
Why coconut? According to FoMu’s website, coconut is classified as a “functional food,” giving its ice cream a nutritional kick unlike the others on the market. FoMu takes into consideration not only health when crafting its non-dairy ice cream, but also allergies. Unlike many other dairy substitutes that are crafted with almond or cashew products, coconut generally does not afflict those with tree nut allergies, providing a non-dairy alternative that is considerate of food allergies.
Deena Jalal, owner of FoMu, said that her vegan ice cream products were new to the Boston area when FoMu stores first started popping up. At first, FoMu shook the local ice cream market, creating an alternative, vegan ice cream product new to the Boston area.
“When we started eight years ago, there were no options even similar,” Jalal said in an email to The Heights. “ … More and more companies started making non-dairy flavors and a select few in the country have dedicated to making non dairy ice cream. I think our history, research, and dedication to this specialty product has keep us a leader in the industry.”
Coming on the heels of a FoMu pop-up shop in Fenway a few years ago, the FoMu team decided to permanently open a location after loving the feeling of Fenway. Now, barely a week into its newest business venture, Jalal is happily surprised with the traffic at FoMu Fenway.
“It has been pleasantly busier than we thought! A few years ago it was a lot of office customers, but now we see more residents and visitors,” Jalal said.
Breaking the traditional mold of dairy ice cream, FoMu accommodates vegans looking for a sweet treat and non-vegans cutting back on dairy alike, providing delicious non-dairy ice cream that packs the punch of its dairy-filled cousin. For instance, the cookies and cream—a decadent, coconut milk-based ice cream brimming with creme-filled cookies akin to Oreos—was both velvety and light. Impossible to know that it isn’t the fat-packed ice default of Ben and Jerry’s, FoMu’s cookies and cream was both “healthy” and satisfying.
In addition to serving non-dairy ice cream, FoMu also features vegan pastries. Alongside to-go pints of ice cream flavors, FoMu Fenway has pre-made chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches stuffed with their housemade vegan ice cream. The bakery case, while small and with somewhat limited options, had cookies and FoMu-famous Magic Bars—a coconutty, dulce de leche bar that’s a bakery staple for FoMu.
Still, FoMu’s prices are a bit steep. For a “mini” size of its crowd-pleasing flavor Peanut Butter Cookie and a pint of its Cookies and Cream, FoMu charged over $4 and $9.25, respectively. But, its large selection of vegan (and mostly tree nut-free) flavors and the illusion that ice cream is healthy make up for a hefty price, especially with the convenience of a locale close to Fenway for all of your faux ice cream needs throughout Red Sox season.
Featured Image by Isabella Cavazzoni / Heights Editor