As we are all familiar by now that inspiration can be found in the unlikeliest of places, for Yaseera Essack Carrim, inspiration hit her in a tiny European cafe. It was from there that she brought the concept of cold-pressed spaghetti ice cream back to her home in Durban, South Africa.
Establishing Eish Kream in January 2017, Yaseera began with an activated charcoal range, it sure was a black sexy, svelte-looking ice cream unlike any other. Her next creation was the brightly coloured ‘Unicorn Tears’ ice cream we widely recognise today.
Since launching, Eish Kream has become a major footprint in over 40 outlets in Johannesburg and Durban, with further plans to hit Cape Town during summer 18. The integrity of this product is incomparable, so we swing by for a chat to uncover how Yaseera plans to keep it moving and why Eish Kream isn’t just a plate of fake spaghetti looking ice cream.
Hey Yaseera, can you introduce yourself to us?
I am a 29-year-old wife and mother of 3. I run my own business called Eish Kream, the first and only full dairy cold pressed spaghetti ice cream manufacturing company in South Africa. We have also revived the old school ice cream truck concept by swirling our own cold pressed treats from our ice cream truck that we cater to events & pop up shops across various locations.
Can you tell us a little bit about you and your career background prior to launching Eish kream?
When I finished school I went on to study fashion design, this led to the launch of my own clothing label called Yaseera which was stocked in many stores across Durban and Cape Town that I maintained full control over. I also pursued a career in makeup artistry and worked on many local print and television ad campaigns. When my first son was born I was smitten and I made the decision to put my career on hold to be a full-time mum. I was soon a mum of 3 children all under the age of 4. That’s pretty much been my career for the last 9 years
Where did the fire start to want to start your own ventures?
I remember when my parents purchased our first desktop computer and printer and one of the first programs I received was a Barbie card making program. I was intrigued by the fact that I could make personalised cards in an instant. I started making these cards and selling them to friends at school. That was the first of many little school-based ventures.
So can you share with us how you got to where you are today with Eish Kream?
Looking back I have realised that launching Eish Kream has been a journey that began many years ago, almost 20 years ago to be exact. I also had a really clear vision of what I wanted to achieve. This coupled with faith, hard work, sleepless nights and never turning down an opportunity has carried me through.
Eish Kream is a new and unique spaghetti soft-serve ice cream bar, where did this concept initiate from?
We like to call Eish Kream soft ice cream, quite simply because the soft serve is made using a premix and Eish Kream is made from scratch using full-fat milk and cream as our main ingredients.
Traditional spaghetti ice cream has been served at cafes in Europe for a long time. I decided to ramp up the game by serving flavoured full dairy, gelato quality ice cream that came in the amazing spaghetti form you see.
Not only did I want to revive old classics but I also wanted to serve unique, new and trendy flavours (unicorn tears, charcoal, rainbow). It’s no secret that we eat with our eyes so the ice creams had to also look as good as they tasted, with this in mind I set out to develop unique packaging and serving concepts.
How are you funding your start-up?
I took a risk and invested my savings as starting capital.
Nice one! Can you tell us what your main goal is whilst Eish Kream?
I aim to maintain the exceptional quality of my product and not use any cost saving substitutes in my products.
As a mother of 3, how are you mastering the art of juggling both your home and business life?
As women, juggling our different roles and responsibilities is no easy task. I prioritise my family when they’re around but at the same time, I allow my children to see that it’s possible for me to run a business and be an active mother. I believe it inspires them to think outside the box.
They are really involved in the decision making as I often have a new flavour concept or new business venture proposals from them! My husband and I take turns to pray with them and tuck them into bed every night. Of course, there are calm days where all my plans work out perfectly and there are days where everything seems to go wrong. What I feel is most important is how we react to both situations. It’s important to acknowledge the good and be thankful at the same time, we should all learn from the mistakes we make.
How do you grab downtime?
Scheduling a little time for myself has been really beneficial and I try to fit 3-4 sessions of yoga or meditation into my week.
Being a happy mom is the greatest asset to any family.
What outlets do use to market Eish Kream?
Instagram and Facebook are my primary marketing tools. Eish Kream has also been featured in numerous magazines, online publications as well as television interviews.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
Just to stay humble and be honest.
What tip would you give on becoming a successful entrepreneur whilst being a full-time mother?
You need to set strict boundaries with regard to business and family time. For example, during the week I schedule meetings while my children are at school. When they’re home they have my full attention. Every Saturday morning my husband and I take each of our children out for 1 on 1 bonding time. This has proven really beneficial and we love the fact that we can have uninterrupted conversations with all our children individually.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned along your path to success?
Listen to feedback from customers, let positive feedback motivate you and allow criticism to assist in improving your business. Customers love when brands listen to their feedback.
What does your Podcast playlist look like?
It’s pretty much a remix of old classics, ted talks, motivational clips and children’s audiobooks. Basically, anything goes!
What does success look like in your eyes?
For me, success means achieving your goals and still being happy.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
To me, this means allowing a little bit of your own personality shine through in everything that you do.
Congratulations on your brand new venture, Balloony. Can you tell us about it and how you are planning to expand in the near future?
Balloony is a bespoke balloon company that creates personalised balloons and balloon bouquets to make any celebration a little more special. We noticed that there are tons of gifting options for the girls, but options for guys were really limited.
This inspired us to launch our Superstar and Heart bunches, personalised messages are printed onto each balloon and are available in a number of colours. Customised bubble balloons have also been extremely popular this year. Afterall there’s no mood a balloon can’t cheer.
We have also simplified the process for our customers, whereby orders can be placed via WhatsApp or email and the balloons will be delivered on the nominated day.
Lastly, what is next for you?
We are almost at the execution phase of a really exciting roll out into one of South Africa’s leading supermarkets.
Instagram: @eishkream @yaseera_e_c @baloonysouthafrica