Food and Leisure

Paloma and Jaime Urquijo Zobel offer ice cream that screams peace, love, rock ’n’ roll; and yummy green bowls for health buffs

LIFE & STYLE - Millet M. Mananquil - The Philippine Star
Paloma and Jaime Urquijo Zobel offer ice cream that screams peace, love, rock ânâ roll; and yummy green bowls for health buffs

Cool partners Timothy Kong, Paloma Urquijo Zobel, Ryan Daniels and Jaime Urquijo Zobel at Emack & Bolio’s, the Boston ice cream with a history as rich and colorful as their scoops. This is at Ayala Malls The 30th on Merlaco Avenue in Pasig.

Paloma and Jaime Urquijo Zobel had big and lofty dreams when they were kids. Paloma wanted to be a Pink Power Ranger who could save the world. Jaime wanted to be a pilot.

In a way, their childhood dreams are coming true. Paloma is saving the world — its environment and its endangered traditions, actually — one village at a time, with her Piopio line of clothing using fabrics woven by Philippine indigenous tribes. Together with her cultural activist mother, Bea Zobel Jr., she promotes sustainable tourism in Palawan. 

Jaime currently soars as he pursues higher studies as an MBA candidate at INSEAD, Class 2018. He flies to places where he gets inspirations for creative pursuits. 

Now these Zobel siblings are entrepreneurs in the food business with two unique fast-casual restaurants: Emack & Bolio’s ice cream, which is a Boston franchisee; and Berde Bowls, their homegrown Philippine brand.

“Emack & Bolio’s is a Boston brand of ice cream we have always been fond of,” Paloma enthuses. “After seeing its success in Asian countries, we spoke to its owner about allowing us to bring it to the Philippines.”

So now you can have Emack & Bolio’s mouthwatering ice cream dripping with colorful and delicious flavors at Ayala Malls The 30th on Meralco Ave. in Pasig. It’s the ice cream that screams peace, love, and rock ’n’ roll in the US and is now the rage in Hong Kong, Thailand, China and the UAE. It is said to be the fave ice cream of Gigi Hadid.

Why the Seventies vibe? Emack &Bolio’s is ice cream with a history. Its founder, Bob Rook, is a lawyer who offered pro bono legal assistance to anti-war demonstrators, the homeless and struggling musicians in the ’70s.Yup, Bob once worked with U2 and Aerosmith. At a basement hangout in Brookline, Massachusetts, Bob and his ice cream brand played host to acoustic jamming sessions. 

No wonder that at Emack & Bolio’s, you enter the ‘70s psychedelic, hippie world where some flavors are named after advocacies like “Free Tibet.”

Its top flavor is “The Original Oreo,” hailed as the best Oreo ice cream cookie ever. 

In 1980, Emack & Bolio’s invented the flavored waffle cone, coating it with treats like Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops and Fruity Pebbles.

Bestsellers include Space Cake (cake batter ice cream with huge chunks of shortbread cookies and red velvet cake), Deep Purple Chip (black raspberry ice cream with white and dark chocolate chip), and Lemon Sorbet (refreshingly flavored). One scoop is P165, while cones, which come in different flavors, are P30 and up. 

During his visit to the Philippines, Bob said he is now looking into flavors inspired by Philippine fruits like langka (jackfruit) and durian, to add to the 100 uniquely outrageous flavor combinations of Emack & Bolio’s.

One thing that certainly attracted Paloma and Jaime to the brand is that it says no to milk from cows injected with genetically induced hormones.

And on a poignant and touching note: Emack & Bolio’s was named after twohomeless people that its lawyer-founder once helped.

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Berde bowls: Homegrown & healthy

Jaime Urquijo Zobel has another dream: To go into organic agriculture and retire on a working farm. 

That dream has bloomed into the siblings’  second venture, Berde Bowls, a fast-casual resto at the Ayala Triangle Walkways in Makati offering healthy and delicious complete meals in a bowl.

“Our mission is to inspire healthier eating and to empower farmers to grow good, healthy food with a passion,” Paloma explains. “We work closely with organic farmers. We want to help educate farmers on sustainable farming practices.”

Berde Bowls’ offerings range between P299 and P499, depending on the diner’s choice. You can go meatless or not. The veggies are really tempting, and there are assorted ingredients to choose from.

“These two entrepreneurial endeavors — Emack & Bolio’s and Berde Bowls — embody everything that Paloma and Jaime love,” says their mother, Bea Zobel Jr. “What is more amazing is how they use each other as resources for their business. I tell them to stay inspired and challenged always, and follow their passions.”

For these two ventures, their partners are Timothy Kong and Ryan Daniels, two friends who share their passions and work ethic. While Jaime takes charge of the business details, Paloma does the marketing.

Their business icon and inspiration is their grandfather, Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala. But their mentor is their mom Bea Jr., who says: “I tried to give them all the tools to make them independent thinkers and see the valuein a good work ethic. They are both extremely driven and I could not be prouder.”





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For inquiries on Emack & Bolios, call (02) 718-5510; and Berde Bowls, (02) 728-5046.

Follow the author on Instagram and [email protected]. Email her at [email protected].

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