Cocobella Creamery, Alice Cherng and Belinda Wei
Receiving a Certificate of Recognition from Mayer Eric Garcetti
Cocobella Creamery is the brainchild of Alice Cherng and Belinda Wei. Growing up, Alice and Belinda always had fond experiences at ice cream shops, and they wanted to recreate that joy for everyone. The two friends met through the famed Cafe Gratitude and brought different experiences to the table.
Belinda attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy and has worked at various plant-based dining establishments throughout Los Angeles. Having personally dealt with a dairy allergy, Belinda knows first-hand how devastating it can be when you’re unable to enjoy your favorite treat. Ice cream wasn’t just a reward for Belinda growing up - it was part of her daily routine. Thankfully years later her experiences in the culinary world gave her the skills to create delicious dairy-free frozen desserts, ones that the kid version of her would have approved of.
Alice comes from a CPA background and runs her own accounting firm servicing local restaurants. She took to a plant-based lifestyle in 2007 and soon worked her way up at Cafe Gratitude from line cook to floor manager. “Ice cream is one of my favorite food groups,” Alice laughs. “It’s what I turn to when I want to celebrate or reward myself.” Alice has always experienced a sense of nostalgia visiting ice cream parlors, and much prefers it having a pint at home on the couch. In the modern day, though, Alice recognizes that there is a need for quality ice cream that is free of the common allergens that plague both kids and adults. That’s where Cocobella comes to the rescue. The tasty, tasty rescue.
With their shared love for ice cream, they developed traditional and innovative ice cream flavors that are free of many common allergens such as dairy, nuts, and gluten-free, without compromising on the taste and mouthfeel. Although experienced in the food industry, Alice and Belinda had never opened a restaurant of their own, so they sought guidance at SCORE, where they were paired with a wise and kind mentor, Phil Binderman. Over numerous meetings, Phil gave Alice and Belinda the necessary encouragement and advice for them to take the huge leap into restaurant ownership. Having the support of Phil and SCORE played a big part in Cocobella Creamery's success.
Our SCORE mentor gave us the guidance and confidence to open the first vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free ice cream shop in Los Angeles.