I am pleased to report that Aki’s ice candy business is expanding!
We opened another branch in our house (the first one is in my in-laws). We are also extending operation hours from 7AM to 6PM to save more people from heatstroke. Not only that, we have a reseller! Ate Doring drops off our ice ice babies every morning to a fellow yaya who lives at the other end of the village. Are we sosyal or are we sosyal?
Early last week, Aki and I made a trip to the bank to deposit his earnings from our first month of operation. After deducting the cost of materials and Mayor’s permit and the likes, Aki’s nett profit for April is 695 Philippine pesosesoses! Not bad considering the business hours became erratic when I started my medical leave.
In case you are planning to get into this business, here are some tips.
Our tools of the trade. Mixing bowl, a funnel (very important for obvious reasons), ice cream scooper. Ice candy wrappers from local wet markets are cheaper and thicker compared to the ones being sold inside malls. Being charming and friendly help too!
Food safety is very important. Make sure the germs of the raw meats in your freezer will not contaminate your ice candies. We keep our meats in clear plastic containers.
Listen to your customers. When I conceptualized this project, I dreamed of coming up with unusual flavors. However, since our market are Ate Doring’s friends who prefer traditional flavors, I won’t be having my calamansi basil anytime soon. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Apparently, our loyal customers have a sweet tooth. So, after mixing our secret concoctions, when I have reached the perfect balance, I still add a few more tablespoons of sugar.
Buy fruits in season which are always cheaper. We often buy mangoes which are on clearance sale. These mangoes are smaller, or are about to get overripe. Once blended, they taste the same if not sweeter than their prettier counterparts.
Try to add fruit chunks or jelly. Customers appreciate having something to chew on.
The cheapest and easiest way to make ice candies is using powdered juice sachets. At first, I wanted to sell all natural treats only but when we tried making mango ice candy using mango juice powder, our neighbors loved them. I try to add fruit purees to mask the fakeness.
Have plastic or paper bags ready for customers who buy in bulk.
Get a bell. This gets the attention of amused and sometimes irritated neighbors.
Have fun trying new flavors. Last weekend, our coffee and coffee-jelly ice candies were selling really well! Another bestseller especially among our friends, is mango ice tea which is just really ice tea with mango puree.
To make multicolored ice candies, fill the wrapper half way, place in a glass and freeze vertically. After 6 hours, add the next flavor. Too bad, this picture does not do justice on our strawberry-pineapple and choco-strawberry ice candies.
Involve the kids! Except for Aki’s weekly bullyproof classes, we did not enroll him in any summer program. This little project of ours gave us a lot of happy memories and valuable lessons. We made beautiful mess in the kitchen. Met new friends. Reinforced math concepts. Taught us especially Aki that we have good days and bad days.