We’re talking ice cream today, yum! And not just any ice cream…
Meet Katie Petridi, the creative mind behind the Make My MAGNUM store. A pop-up store where you can customise your own MAGNUM ice cream from tons of delicious flavors and toppings. Although we’re trying to be careful with our calorie intake this month, there’s nothing wrong with a little treat. Like my mother used to say; “Ice cream has no calories!”.
There’s nothing more satisfying than getting your favorite toppings all-in-one, not to mention how delicious a standard Belgian chocolate MAGNUM already is. As we love the concept, we thought we would sit down with Katie to find out the details of her new NYC-based store.
AG: Hi Katie, it’s so nice to speak to you today and if you must know, we’re big ice-cream lovers here! To start us off, can you tell us a bit about how you came up with the concept and collaboration with MAGNUM?
It’s been an epic journey which began 6 years ago with a blank piece of paper. The Magnum team asked us to create the ultimate experience of their brand, and we thought that nothing could be better than creating your own Magnum.
We’ve since launched 50 pop-up stores in over 30 countries, making over 1 million ice creams. It’s been an amazing ride that has involved flying all over the world, from Bali to Brazil, to China and Japan, working with everyone from celebrities like Cara, Kendall, and Kylie, through to local workmen. My favorite part is working with the local team on the ground to bring the store to life, it’s fast and furious and really about pulling together as a team. Magnum is all about pleasure, and the brand team is a brilliant bunch of pleasure seekers – hard workers, but the last to leave a party.
AG: Could you give us a step-by-step guide on how the process of making your customized ice-cream works as you walk into the pop-up store?
First you select 3 toppings from around 20 choices, your choice of ‘naked’ Magnum ice-cream, followed by a Magnum chocolate dip, and finally, you can select your drizzle and we finish it off with a Magnum chocolate coin. We wanted to create one of the worlds most personalized food experiences, all the steps and choices means there are over 200,000 different types of Magnum in each store, and then there’s, of course, the beautiful space to eat it in..
AG: I personally love a bit of shredded coconut or white chocolate sprinkles, what’s your personal favorite topping and which would you recommend we try first?
Tough one! I would say my favorite topping, which was a new addition this year is charcoal. I was inspired by Japanese cuisine, where they are starting to experiment with this ingredient more and more. It looks dramatic, but tastes quite neutral in flavor, like marshmallow, and even has health benefits. I would combine this with goji berries and coconut, for an exotic, beautiful looking Magnum!
AG: We’re planning on coming to NYC before the end of the year, and can hardly wait to pay you a visit. In the meantime, so we can seriously start drooling, could you tell us a bit more about all the different choices of dips, toppings, and drizzles?
There are 3 types of Magnum chocolate – white, dark, and classic. Then there are around 20 different toppings, unlike any you will find elsewhere, including rose petals, pink Himalayan salt, and azur popping candy. We change the range every season and it’s slightly different in every store. We’re also careful to have a range which includes more wild experimental options as well as the great classics, like brownie, and nuts.
More and more everything we see and touch in the world has the potential to be shareable content online. This has driven content creators to shape everything in more of an aesthetic way, just like fashion. So for us, even though we’re creating ice-cream, we see this as being as shareable as a beautiful outfit or art piece. Magnum is also a brand which sits very much in the fashion space, this year Magnum partnered with Moschino, last year with top fashion photographers Mert and Marcus and previously with Dolce and Gabbana. We’re about to get even more fashion-focused next year – watch this space!
AG: Have you got any new projects for the future and if so, are they all food-related?
We’re working on developing a very exciting beauty experience, which will launch in London next spring. It will be the first concept store of its kind and we’re currently immersing ourselves in the best beauty experiences around the world, to understand what we can bring that will be totally game-changing.
5 quick fire questions:
If you could be any ice cream flavor what would it be?
Hmmm..Something classic and experimental at the same time, like caramel & purple cornflower ice cream. Whether it be food, fashion or beauty, there’s something to be said for the tried and tested classics, but I love to experiment and play with new things as well. Aesthetics are also important – as a designer, I eat with my eyes.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I’m obsessed with finding new and unusual toppings from around the world, so I’ve tried some very weird things during my search. When you’re eating seaweed on a magnum ice cream in China, you know you may have gone too far.
If you could have lunch with any celebrity who would it be?
To the point of eating with one’s eyes, I wouldn’t say no to a cozy London pub lunch with Jamie Dornan 🙂
What is your favorite holiday destination?
I love exploring surf spots, physical activity is my form of meditation, and I love the barefoot beach life. Suarga eco-resort in Uluwatu, Bali is an amazing place built entirely out of bamboo. But the most incredible experience is sleeping out in the open in a stargazer bed in Loisaba, Kenya, waking up surrounded by elephants, giraffes, and zebras. Totally surreal.
What item of clothing can you not live without?
Bodysuits. I have around 30 in different styles, colors, and materials. I love them because they work with everything, jeans, skirts, and dresses, are super comfortable and also sexy at the same time. Sexy is a feeling first and foremost and a look secondarily.