THE FOOD PRENEUR
SINENHLANHLA NDLELA Creator of Yo Coco “Fill a gap.” The start
After graduating, Sinenhlanhla felt unhappy in her first full-time job at a production company in Joburg. “I didn’t feel fulfilled. I felt like I needed to do something by myself,” she says. She quit her job – without a clue as to what to do. So she consulted a kinesiologist and life coach, who helped her find her purpose. “She helped me to become more self-aware and to understand what direction I really wanted to take,” she says. She also decided to eliminate animal products from her life because they were contributing to her fatigue. “That’s when I realised that I actually couldn’t eat the dairy-free ice cream that was out there,” she says.
Sinenhlanhla loved ice cream, but as a vegan, her options were thin on the ground. She also knew that she loved serving people and ice cream felt like a natural way to do that. The only problem was that she’d never made ice cream before. Sinenhlanhla played around with recipes and the results were underwhelming. “I realised it actually sucks; I thought about maybe going back to my job,” she says. But she hung in there. “Even though I didn’t know how to make ice cream, I loved it enough to want to learn how,” she says. She lived in a very busy building in Maboneng and used it as an opportunity to trial her recipes. “I grabbed people from the street and just asked them to tell me what they thought,” she says. By January 2017, Yo Coco had found its flavour.
Now, Yo Coco’s a growing brand that’s stocked in multiple stores around the country and the appetite for vegan treats is a growing trend. Case in point: Yo Coco is on-demand on Uber Eats and do made-to-order deliveries thrice weekly.