There’s something that drives the lead character of every story. Sine Ndlela’s motivations are far more wholesome than a burning desire for success; the Yo Coco founder is forging a dairy-free path to the peak of the ice cream game, serving love with every scoop.
“My purpose, I believe, is to serve love. I love matching people to what makes them happy and almost everyone loves ice cream! So making it and serving it is another way for me to do that.”
Her values, her business
It’s easy to admire someone that puts people first. Sine knows who she is and what she stands for, which helps her maintain a calm demeanour in the notoriously unpredictable environment of startup life. You have to have something that anchors your way of doing things.
“There’s no routine to be honest, we’re constantly on the go. A day can be deliveries, meetings, making ice cream, packaging. I take each day as it comes and I’m aware that I won’t always know the answer. But it doesn’t mean the answer doesn’t exist!”
In a chaotic industry, Sine views every crazy moment as an opportunity to learn and grow, both as a person and as an entrepreneur. She’s insatiably curious and has always viewed herself as a human being before a businesswoman. Love is at the core of everything she does.
“Being kind is not hard but when money is put above kindness and people… that’s where it becomes a problem. If you’re going to put money first then it will dictate to you how to run things which can put you in a desperate position.”
The business of making dairy-free
Yo Coco’s outlook is bright. The boutique ice cream brand has been a resounding success at markets all over the country, with stores stocking their products in Johannesburg and Durban. And with an order from Sea Point Spar in Cape Town having come through in the first week of August 2018, the brand’s footprint is growing. And Sine is staying true to the holistic philosophy that underpinned the business since day one.
Being an entrepreneur is never easy, especially for those with a strong conscience. Spirituality is at the centre of Sine’s sense of self, helping her stay on top of things.
“It’s very important to me. Staying aligned to my purpose underpins everything, so it automatically pours into how we do things without forcing anything on anyone.”
If there’s one thing we can be sure of, Sine doesn’t have to force her ice cream on anybody. We’ll devour it willingly! Yo Coco’s products are different and delicious, thanks in part to the fact that they’re handmade with no artificial flavourings or colourants. And, in line with shifting dietary trends, it’s also vegan-friendly and dairy-free.
“I wanted to bring something super delicious, inclusive and still friendly to the environment. I guess I was also tired of feeling like dairy-free food was alternative and tasted like medicine! I love getting out of the comfort zone to change the way ice cream is done.”
And plans for the future?
“We’re going to become a real-life Willy Wonka factory for ice cream, but better! We’re going to grow the team and supply more places with our products.”
Keep your eyes fixed on one of the best dairy-free dessert-makers in the country. They’re going places, doing things the right way and taking us all on a delectable journey. Going international is Sine’s next big goal, and the way things are moving, there’s going to be a multinational Yo Coco fanbase sooner rather than later.