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How a dog named Babycakes inspired a vegan ice cream business

What fans may not know is that Say Hello Sweets got started as a unique way to raise money for owner Naomi Arnaut to care for her sick dog, Babycakes.

Fans of dairy-free desserts surely know Say Hello Sweets. Vancouver's own vegan ice cream truck has been scooping the past two summers, and their delicious treats are available at Friendly Snackbar.

What fans may not know is that the business got started as a unique way to raise money for Say Hello Sweets' owner Naomi Arnaut to care for her sick dog, Babycakes.


"Babycakes is a love-able, huggable, staffordshire terrier mix who needed [s]urgery after rupturing her knee," explains Arnaut on her Kickstarter page.

"I decided to try my hand at making ice cream for the first time ever and hosted a pop up, offering frozen treats by donation to fundraise," continues the Say Hello Sweets founder, who initially was making batches at home after a full day of work, often staying up all night to get everything done.

The Say Hello Sweets truck hit the streets of Vancouver in the summer of 2016, scooping dairy-free flavours like the popular Cafe No-Lait.

Now Arnaut says, she's "bursting at the seams" at the commercial kitchen and it's time to grow the business and open up a permanent shop.

"More production space would allow me to offer more exotic flavors of ice cream and to bring my other creative ideas into reality, as well as get Say Hello products into more local niche markets," explains Arnaut.

She's currently running a Kickstarter to source backing for the venture; rewards for contributors include lots and lots of vegan treats, and some swag. Arnaut is hoping to raise $22,000 by mid-December.

Babycakes, by the way, recovered from surgery and is doing well. Arnaut says she wants to come up with a flavour to honour Babycakes, and thinks it should be bubblegum.

Check out this sweet video about Say Hello Sweets, its founder and her pup, called "Babycakes the Catalyst." You can back Say Hello Sweets' expansion via Kickstarter here.

Baby Cakes the Catalyst from Anthem Jackson on Vimeo.