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Ice cream is a timeless indulgence that knows no bounds. Whether you’re young or young at heart, there’s something undeniably magical about that first lick of creamy goodness.

And just because some are dairy-free doesn’t mean they’re not as good. Despite ditching milk and eggs, these frozen delights can still win over even the most sceptical taste testers.

Take Chloe Loo’s venture as an example. Years ago, the 46-year-old pharmacist turned entrepreneur ventured into the world of plant-based, sugar-free gelatos, with her brainchild, Negative12degrees.

Born out of necessity due to her son’s dietary restrictions, Negative12degrees is not just another ice cream parlour, but a haven for those seeking delicious, plant-based, and health-conscious treats.

Plant-based passion

The dairy and egg allergies of her third son motivated Chloe to step try her hand at making gelatos.

Drawing from her background as a pharmacist and fueled by her passion for experimenting with recipes, she embarked on a mission to craft egg and dairy-free ice creams.

“My son’s dietary restrictions were my motivation. He once told me he hated birthday parties because he could not eat cakes. Crafting plant-based ice cream gave him more options,” Chloe told Vulcan Post.

The genesis of Negative12degrees dates back to 2020 when Chloe decided to channel her culinary creativity into a business endeavours.

Image Credit: Negative12degrees

Armed with determination and a desire to fill a gap in the market for allergen-friendly desserts, she began crafting vegan ice creams in 2017 after purchasing a home ice cream maker on sale.

“I just wanted to do it,” Loo recalls, reflecting on her decision to transition from her stable career as a pharmacist to pursue her entrepreneurial dream.

With over 15 years of experience dispensing behind the counter, she felt compelled to leverage her background to address the growing demand for healthier dessert alternatives for people with diabetes, eczemas, allergies, and weight issues.

“Negative12degrees aims to not only provide delectable treats but also to play a pivotal role in promoting vegan and health-conscious options within the broader food market,” shared the founder.

Recognising the rising rates of childhood obesity in Malaysia, Chloe envisions her venture to be a catalyst for inspiring healthier eating habits, especially among the younger generation.

Flavours to scoop

Despite lacking a formal culinary or food tech background, Chloe’s self-taught journey has led to the creation of nearly 30 flavours, with 19 varieties boasting no added sugar.

Chloe’s inspiration for flavours comes from her personal and family likings, anything she finds interesting at that time, and also based on the festive seasons in Malaysia.

Their best-selling items include no-added-sugar flavours such as salted butter pecan, dark chocolate, oat vanilla, blue vanilla-soy milk based ones, and regular flavours such as cookies cream and sea salt dark chocolate.

Image Credit: Negative12degrees

The price ranges from RM9 to RM12.90 per scoop and RM30 to RM40 per pint of 400gm depending on the ingredients used.

“I believe our prices are quite reasonable compared to similar offerings in the market,” she added.

Many traditional gelato and ice cream makers now offer vegan options too though. However, Chloe believes that her dual focus on plant-based and no-sugar-added flavours (which use sugar substitutes such as erythritol and xylitol) sets her venture apart in a crowded market.

“Many do not know that sugar is important in softening gelatos. Gelatos or ice creams cannot live without sugars.”

“These sugar substitutes are derived from plants and the best part is that they will not spike one’s blood sugar level. Dieters looking for lower-calorie alternatives love them too. It’s a good alternative when one is having sweet cravings,” Chloe said.

Besides, she said many toothpastes and gums contain erythritol and xylitol as these substances helps prevent dental issues like cavities and tooth decay.

Envisioning growth

The journey hasn’t been without its challenges. From learning the nuances of ice cream science to striking a balance between work and family life, Chloe has faced her fair share of hurdles.

However, with the unwavering support of her family and a bootstrapped approach to funding, she has successfully expanded from a single kiosk in Bangsar Village 1 to multiple kiosks in different locations.

She currently has kiosks in Melawati Mall, KL and Datum Jelatek, KL.

Chloe’s second kiosk in Melawati Mall, KL / Image Credit: Negative12degrees

Looking ahead, Negative12degrees has ambitious growth plans.

From introducing more innovative plant-based products to exploring eco-friendly packaging options, Chloe projects a future where her passion for healthy, delicious desserts can reach even more communities through franchising.

As the demand for healthier dessert alternatives continues to rise, Chloe is not just serving up gelatos—she’s crafting a sweeter, healthier future, one scoop at a time.

  • You can learn more about their business here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.


Featured Image Credit: Negative12degrees

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)