I’ve been threatening for a while to get a poster like this and put it in the kitchen, but Marianne, our manager, said it felt too threatening. Well, it doesn’t take Game of Thrones to tell us in Creameryland what the calendar can confirm; decidedly ice-cream-unfriendly weather is heading our way. The end of summer coincides with our six month anniversary, so there’s definitely a feeling that the honeymoon (what honeymoon? Starting a company is flipping hard work!) period is over.
No matter how much you try to give winter its due respect in business plans, it’s a lot scarier facing it in person, with rent, staff and overheads to pay.
On the other hand, some of the countries with the largest per capita annual ice cream consumption are also the coldest: Russia and the USA, for example. A little snow doesn’t stop them from enjoying the freezer’s finest. But speaking as a Capetonian: Capetonians are sissies. We’re historically terrified of rain, for example. I do think a lot of the ‘summer only’ mentality comes from a dearth of seriously good ice cream available to consumers. Some of the stuff available in stores is so full of crap and so devoid of taste that the only reason I can see why someone might eat it is to cool down in extreme heat, flavour be damned.
We think our ice cream is so good that is transcends seasons, and we’re hoping that we’ve convinced enough Capetonians that they will deign to enjoy our product even if it is winter. Nonetheless, we are bracing ourselves for a drop in cone sales, and pushing pints like mad. We figure that, while you might not want to stand in St George’s Mall with an ice cream cone in the rain, you probably wouldn’t mind a pint or two of chocolate or peanut butter ice cream for enjoying in the privacy of your pyjamas and your own home.
Our watchword ‘seasonality’ also takes on new meaning in the colder months; while it certainly dictates fruit we have available locally (citrus, guavas, pomes) it also applies to the sorts of flavours we want when the weather is cooler. Think: chocolate, coffee, spices, creamy, luxurious flavours to savour in front of the fire.
We’ll also be taking on a couple new wholesale customers to diversify our revenue streams, and have been really flattered by the number and caliber of delis, caterers and restaurants that have expressed interest in collaborating with us.
The thing that really got me out of my pre-winter fug (aside from the new season of Game of Thrones, of course) was the decision to create our own opportunities and events. Thus the Winter Festival was borne, and we are still busy crafting it into a line-up of winter collaborations, suppers, tastings and celebrations that will keep us on Cape Town’s collective radar and hopefully make us some money in the months to come.
So, stand by us, Cape Town. We’re in it for the long run, and hope you will be, too.