Ice cream business’s success snowballs

Pictured at the back is Soraya Adams, founder of Xtreme iScream, from Surrey Estate, a vendor who has been part of the Mitchell’s Plain festival for close to 15 years. With her are happy customers.

Vendors are gearing up for this weekend’s 2023 DStv Kyknet Mitchell’s Plain Festival in association with the Plainsman at Westridge Gardens, starting on Friday December 1 at 4pm and ending on Sunday December 3 at 6pm.

Yesterday, Tuesday November 28, the Plainsman caught up with Soraya Adams, founder of Xtreme iScream, from Surrey Estate, a vendor who has been part of the Mitchell’s Plain festival for 14 years.

“Every year the festival gets bigger, better and more exciting,” she said.

They missed the first festival in 2008 but drove past and realised it was a vibe.

Within days after that festival they confirmed their presence for the next year and have not looked back.

This family owned and run business has been passed from parents to children and then between siblings.

Ms Adams said over the years they have grown in leaps and bounds, being able to kit out a second vehicle and serve ice cream at big, medium and small events.

“We have been able to purchase a second truck, upgrade equipment, including the need for generators and to help their children through school. We have also been able to invest some money,” she said.

She explained that the festival offered opportunities to the youth to sell their wares and put on a show on the big stage.

The annual event has garnered them major publicity as they have been asked to serve at weddings, parties and corporate functions.

“We do lots of events as we are able to move around to all of the events,” she said.

Ms Adams said a big draw card to the festival was the no alcohol and drug policy.

“The festival makes opportunities for young people accessible and allows them to achieve their goals. They can get out of the predicament they find themselves in, standing on the corner loitering, or they can sell their wares and address the unemployment in the community,” she said.

Ms Adams said young people should prioritise themselves in reaching their potential and making a success through entrepreneurship.

She explained over the next two days the vehicle would be cleaned, restocked and they would ensure there is cash change ready for customers to be served when the gates open on Friday at 4pm.

Ms Adams also said that they visit orphanages and share ice cream with the children.

She said about eight years ago, they went to Crystal House and on receipt of a thank you note learnt that a 9-year-old boy had never tasted ice cream before.

“We are motivated to share the happiness with the children to experience ice cream for the first time,” she said.

They also share the joy with various community-based organisations and enjoy giving back.

“Without community support then you don’t have a business,” said Ms Adams.

Her daughter Wisaal, 31, and now owner of the business, explained that the business has changed and that it was great that she could be a part of it.

When the Adams family started the business 23 years ago, customers paid R2 for a plain cone, now they pay R15.

“Comparatively speaking we have always kept our prices affordable for the community.

“We offer them an experience they cannot afford having to go to Sea Point and sit in an ice cream parlour but they can get the quality and taste on their doorstep,” she said.

From the R2 coin they have progressed to have customers pay in notes, to card machines, snapscan and even eft today.

Ms Adams junior said small businesses needed lots of investment, including hard work, advertising and marketing.

“You are taking a risk when you get into something you don’t know but it takes time and you will grow with experience,” she said.

She has worked at festivals alongside her parents and older brother and is proud to say she has brought a fresh perspective and played an active role in social media, including Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook.

While her day job is in digital marketing, Wisaal said the extra income has helped give her and her family financial stability and allowed them to cover monthly bills comfortably.

Ms Adams senior said one would have to put in a lot of effort into starting their business.

“Our product must have people say ‘Wow, I want that’,” she said.

Her daughter chipped in to say they needed to create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) on social media and allow people to come and experience it.

Festival tickets are available from Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers; ticket cost R50 for people aged, six to 12, and pensioners; R70 for people aged 13 and over; children under the age of six and physically disabled people enter for free. Tickets cost R20 more when purchased at the gates. For more information call 021 439 8000 or email sharon@mitchellsplainfestival.com.