By Melissa Grant
Mother-daughter time has never been so sweet for Ildiko Sztojka and 10-year-old Laura Barnacz.
Most days, the pair spend hours together making doggy ice-cream for their little but growing business, Noosa Paws Dicecream.
It’s a venture that came about following a hot day late last year when Laura, a keen cook, was whipping up some healthy ice-cream.
“I was trying to make healthy ice-cream for humans and I came across this recipe, it was coconut cream, honey and strawberry,” she explained.
“The second batch, I didn’t put honey in it and my dog, Benjy, he tried it.
“My dog is very picky… he ate that one and he really loved it.”
Ildiko and Laura then joked about feeding the ice-cream to other dogs. That was until they realised they had potentially stumbled upon a great business idea.
So they decided to road test their dog-friendly coconut-based ice-cream.
“We thought we should give free samples on the local beaches to see if other dogs liked it too,” Ildiko said.
The ice-cream was a hit, with dog after dog licking it up.
They then set about turning Laura’s invention into a small business.
In less than four months, they have managed to get their Dicecream product into many dog-friendly places including Wunderdogs Doggie Daycare at Noosaville, Stellarossa Coffee at Coolum Beach, Sunshine Beach General Store, The Velo Project Coffee at Maroochydore and Cock and Hen Coffee at Twin Waters.
With orders coming in thick and fast, Laura and Ildiko spend hours most days making doggy ice-cream.
“A busy day would be four hours. You make it, freeze it, come back and do other things,” Ildiko explained.
“While I’m at school, mum does some and then I come home and we do it together,” Laura added.
Each ‘Dicecream’ uses dog-safe ingredients, natural fruits and a coconut cream base. The popsicle that holds the product together is actually a dental stick, which gives a dog’s teeth a clean after they’ve licked up all the Dicecream.
Humans can also eat the ice-cream, apart from the dental stick of course!
Ildiko and Laura are also passionate about the environment, so they’ve ensured the product packaging is fully biodegradable.
Noosa Paws Dicecream comes in two flavours – berrylicious and tropical dream.
“You should have seen us when we bought a big bucket of mango, all afternoon we were cutting up mango and freezing it,” Ildiko said with a laugh.
The mother and daughter duo from Peregian Springs source all their ingredients locally.
The pair also share 10 per cent of their profits between the Salvation Army Noosa and RSPCA Noosa.
With Sunshine Coast dog-lovers going barking mad for the product, Ildiko and Laura want to keep growing their business.
The pair are working on new Dicecream flavours and have plans to expand into Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
You can check out Noosa Paws Dicecream on Instagram and at https://noosapawsdicecream.com/