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Penguino Ice Cream Cafe – let your taste buds do backflips!

They celebrate 25 years of making and serving top-quality Ice cream, coffee and more to the Nelsonians (located in the walkway to the Montgomery Car Park). That is a lot of Ice cream, and with a smile like Coki’s it is hard to say no – even if it is 11 am on a wintery morning!

Coki manages and runs the shop, and her passion for what she does is infections. You could even say that Ice Cream runs in her blood. Born in Argentina, when she was 11 years old, her Dad, Pepe, was the local expert in Ice Cream and the three kids all helped out with the running of his business. A kids dream! When Coki and her husband Fabian decided they wanted to buy the business in 2017, they flew to Argentina to show her dad the plans. Pepe was an accountant and wanted to check the numbers and give them the fatherly green light – which, of course, he did. Straight away, he even came to Nelson for a 2-month visit, which he spent helping Coki balance the flavours to perfection. What’s interesting is that Coki was an expert Gymnast who competed at a national level in Argentina.

This lead to coaching Gymnastics, which lead to meeting her husband Fabian, who was a coach also. Fabian also played Rugby for his Provincial Team Union, who played the All Blacks during 1985 Argentinian tour. His claim to fame was kicking two marvellous penalty kicks. I think the All Blacks won by a considerable margin. However, they helped put New Zealand on their map, so after coaching Gymnastics at a high level for 8 years in USA they moved to Auckland (because that is where the All Blacks were) to carry on their gymnastics coaching carriers and then sunny Nelson.

Fabian is the manager for Nelson Hockey and is often in the shop helping during weekends and busy periods. (What a legend) They use local A2 milk, which is delivered fresh every day, locally grown berries and fruit, Pics Peanut butter is used for some flavours and they even have a range of Argentinian foods available and deliciously hot Belgium waffles.

Smart looking uniforms beautifully made by our friends at Embroid Me Nelson. I asked Coki, what is your favourite Ice Cream flavour? “I like Dulce de Leche, Pics peanut butter, baileys, but to be honest, I always have something different, so I don’t get bored.” Did you find it difficult to adjust from living on the other side of the globe to Nelson? “The Nelson community have been very friendly and supportive. I love the positive feedback we always get from our customers, and I love to see the children’s little faces brighten up as soon as they walk through the doors.

I love the Nelson lifestyle, and I like to go running, go to the gym, and enjoy a coffee with Fabian – although to be honest, I don’t really have a lot of free time these days.” Any children, hobbies or pets? “We don’t have any children or pets, all my energy and time goes into Penguino and of course my husband Fabian, who I love dearly, so we always try to go somewhere at least for a week in the winter time.” Every week they switch flavours (+300 different flavours), so pop in and grab a coffee while you are there. Your taste buds will be doing backflips!

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