Have you ever used the zoom-in option on your phone or computer? What about optical character recognition or having your computer read text to you in a human-like voice? And, what about wheelchair ramps? Have you ever used one even if you're not in a wheelchair?
An interesting thing happened when design started including accessibility options. There used to be few ramp entrances for buildings. Now they are mandated all over the country, and interestingly, even people without disabilities use them for a variety of reasons. Strollers, dollies, skateboarders, people who have difficulty stepping up, etc can be found taking advantage of these areas supposedly only meant for wheelchairs.
Other examples of this phenomenon include people who do not have visual impairment using the zoom in and out controls on their computers and mobile phones and people who do not have auditory impairment using optical character recognition on their devices. By the same token, people who do not have celiac disease sometimes prefer gluten-free options, and people who are not diabetic look for low or no sugar dietary choices.
It is also a fact that non-vegans sometimes choose vegan or plant-based options. This is especially true of senior citizens. For example, the mom of someone on the Mami’s team likes Froconut® better than dairy ice cream. She is not vegan, but she really likes the refreshing quality of our coconut gelato. One of our equipment suppliers prefers Mami's Gelato mixes to regular dairy ice cream much to his own surprise. Even though he has no philosophical or dietary reason, he prefers the taste of Mami’s dairy-free mixes.
There are many people who love Oreo cookies without knowing that they are plant-based. And there are many other popular foods and snacks that are vegan that are loved by many such as potato chips and french fries, pretzels, nuts, raisins, and drinks such as sodas, juices, etc. The list of popular plant-based options is endless.
At some point, the names or categories we put on food or other options can become meaningless. We eat potato chips without thinking they are vegan. We drink lemonade, but don’t call it a plant-based drink.
As ice cream shop operators, it's good to be aware of and open to the possibility that many types of customers may be ordering your dairy-free option. They do not necessarily fit neatly into categories.
With all our love and well wishes,
The Mami’s Team