As a fellow lover of all things sweet and delicious, it’s no surprise I have a great weakness for ice-cream and chocolate. Ice-cream is a dairy-rich dessert and often it is hard for anyone to resist a deliciously creamy scoop of it. Sinenhlanhla Ndlela has found a way to make health & indulgence a match made in heaven, with her dairy free ice-cream Yo Coco.
Sinenhlanhla Ndlela has a background in Television writing and post-production decided to make a 360-degree career change and founded the completely vegan-friendly and dairy-free ice cream product Yo Coco. What a perfect way to continue enjoying ice-cream without feeling bad about calories or flaring up your lactose intolerance.
“In 2016 I wanted to be vegan and tried dairy free ice-cream and it was horrible and because I love ice-cream too much to taste sub-par, I thought let me try make my own. I googled recipes. Trust me people on Google don’t tell you the truth. I tried it step by step as they said, and it was horrible. So, I had to experiment, research more, go to tastings and see what it is that I’m missing in my failed attempt,” she said.
“I don’t think my formula is perfect yet, but, it’s good enough. It took me 6 months to get to a point where I can write it down and use as a blue print for now. I’m still learning,” Sine said.
Although the success of Yo Coco has found her product in your mainstream retail outlets, she is still juggling the whole business mainly on her own.
“For now, I’m sort of a one man show. However, I’m working with 2 girls who are helping me at the markets and I’m trying to teach them other aspects of the business.”
Sine is aiming for the stars and plans to take Yo Coco to shores abroad.
“I want to have a big factory but still have an artisanal feel to the ice-cream. As much as it’s going to be mass production, I don’t want it to be fully machine based. I want to expand internationally. We have a big market in Belgium and other European countries,” she said.
“We loosely base the flavours on the 7 chakras. When I started, I quit my job and I wasn’t enjoying Johannesburg and felt like I didn’t know what I was doing with my life. So, I turned to kinesiology and in that it helped me to balance my chakras, learn more about my sabotages and past lives. So, I used that to serve love in my ice-cream and come up with the flavours. For example, you get your sacral chakra, which is the colour red, which is a healing component. So, from that you get flavours like beetroot chocolate and strawberry. People love foreign sounding flavours, so like granadilla-chocolate is popular as you wouldn’t expect for it to work,” Sine said.
Along with finding your favourite sweet treats like chocolate, you can find Yo Coco at the Farm Table in Linden, Unwrapped at 70 Juta in Braamfontein and Salvation Deli at 44 Stanley – all in Johannesburg, Gauteng. In Cape Town at the Sea Point Spar and in Durban Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Healthy store and Hillcrest Quick Spar.