The artwork of vegan dairy-free ice cream and serving love


Sinenhlanhla Ndlela left a promising tv profession to launch Yococo, a guilt-free dessert expertise that prioritises lactose-intolerant people’ wellbeing. 

Image: Yococo/Instagram

After eight months of decided effort, Yococo emerged as a dairy-free, artisanal ice cream firm, with its inaugural providing, cookies and rooibos-flavoured vegan ice cream, gracing the cabinets of the famend Rosebank Market in Johannesburg. 

However the actuality of constructing a enterprise proved to be completely different from her preliminary expectations. Sinenhlanhla as soon as candidly admitted, ‘My first yr in enterprise was difficult but satisfying. Full of doubt, I discovered it intimidating to confront the hurdles earlier than me. I started with lofty aspirations, solely to understand I wanted to regulate my expectations. It dawned on me simply how a lot effort was required to remodel my desires into actuality.’  

Undeterred, she sought options and found a enterprise growth program tailored to her particular wants. Sinenhlanhla, affectionately often known as Sine, emphasises the importance of buying enterprise acumen, notably within the realm of economic administration. However her most profound realisation got here from inside. ‘I recognised that private progress is extra vital than increasing my enterprise,’ she confides. 

Yococo is now an African model to be reckoned with and the formidable pioneer behind it spoke to us about enterprise, journey and life as a brand new mother or father.  

Earlier than something, can we focus on the elephant within the room? Have been you a type of lactose illiberal individuals who consumed dairy merchandise and complained concerning the struggling afterwards? This can be a secure house.

[chuckles] Fortunately not! Nevertheless, after I was pregnant my physique craved dairy and hated it on the similar time! What truly led to me making dairy-free ice cream was desirous to take away all animal merchandise from my eating regimen with a view to pin down what was affecting me emotionally.

Yococo was began in 2016 with the intention of bringing extra pleasure and enjoyable into life.

‘Our mission is to remind every one [of you] how divinely excellent you already are and bliss really is all our birthright,’ Sine mentioned.

It’s now near seven years because you began Yococo and one in every of your primary drives is the need to ‘serve love’. How does one obtain that with ice cream? 

Time actually flies! So many individuals have meals intolerances and might’t take pleasure in ice cream with no repercussions that’s how Yococo serves love in that house, we don’t use any animal merchandise and we use biodegradable merchandise the place we are able to that’s how we serve like to the setting and final however not least We’re sensory beings, smells and tastes have such an unimaginable energy to weave our reminiscences collectively, the way in which my mother and grandmother used ice cream as a solution to join and present love for me made an affiliation for love with ice cream, my intention is for folks to expertise that connection as nicely with each scoop of Yococo.

What was the inspiration or story behind the title “Yococo”?  

I keep in mind writing a bunch of names on a chunk of paper and saying each to see if it had a hoop to it.  I all the time knew I needed to make one thing coconut primarily based so coco needed to be in there and in case ice cream doesn’t work perhaps I could make yoghurt [but] additionally this concept was motivated by my religious journey so I wanted one thing alluding to that, yoga which implies union or to attach popped up as nicely and so Yococo was born and sounded greatest actually.

Second of honesty: Just lately tried to make my very own ice cream and let’s simply say in contrast to you, I don’t assume I ought to give up my day job to do that full-time. How lengthy did it take you to study the commerce of ice-cream making and do you continue to produce your whole ice-creams in-house?

[laughs] Don’t fear the primary time I attempted I additionally regretted quitting my job and jumped into mattress and cried. Happily, it was too late to show again so I needed to preserve attempting! I’d say it took me about 2-3 months to really feel assured to cost for the ice cream and I saved on studying for years, I’m all the time amazed by how apparent some issues at the moment are in comparison with after I began. We nonetheless produce every little thing in-house however now I’ve another person assist me make the ice cream.

I’ve been lucky to bask in your ice-creams through the years and two of my favorite flavours are Stracciatella and Salted caramel, though Beetroot Chocolate is a mix I’ve loved too. How do you go about deciding on the flavours? 

Ah, thanks! I used to attempt a number of various things, and after I make ice cream or meals this wonderful factor occurs. My creativeness takes over and I get concepts of what to combine and what’s lacking. That’s how I provide you with recipes and combos.

Sine envisions working the biggest and most satisfying ice cream model in South Africa. She additionally intends to make the most of her regular progress to assist her crew and empower extra ladies. 

 ‘I need to present folks from rural areas with alternatives to develop inside my firm,’ she states. ‘I’ve been lucky to fulfill quite a few people all through my journey, and my mom has been by my facet each step of the way in which. I firmly consider that my crew has carried me by means of the difficult occasions, making us stronger. All of them grasp the method and contribute immensely.’ 

Mail & Guardian included you within the 200 young South Africans listing in 2019 and what you are promoting has bought a whole lot of tubs to ice-cream lovers throughout the nation. Do you’ve gotten ambitions of serving that love throughout the continent and, maybe, even past?  

Oh, completely I need to take Yococo everywhere in the world.

Her household’s robust and decided ladies served as an awesome inspiration to her. Moreover, her ardour for ice cream and her imaginative and prescient for the longer term motivates her. 

 ‘I intention to exhibit that ‘enjoyable’ and ‘wholesome’ can go hand in hand,’ she mentioned. ‘That’s exactly what I’m attaining with Yococo’s dairy-free ice cream. I need to show that we are able to change the world and unfold love, even when it’s one scoop at a time.’ 

Whereas on the subject of serving like to the world – all of it has to begin at house proper? You at the moment are rising into your journey with motherhood whereas additionally working a full-time enterprise. Has this posed new challenges for you and if that’s the case, how have you ever created house to floor your self in that point?

Motherhood has utterly opened me as much as an entire new world, I assumed I had some issues found out earlier than this new position and now I’m again to “what’s going on? The place are the adults?” It’s enjoyable although a number of studying and I’m grateful for all the inner work I did with elevating my first child Yococo I can now use a few of these expertise right here similar to being open to studying, having grace for myself when issues are uphill, asking for assist and taking good care of my thoughts, physique and spirit.

The palate has to journey to collect inspiration. Has there been a rustic you’ve gotten visited that you simply really feel serves you the most effective ice cream up to now? 

In Amsterdam, I attempted fairly a little bit of dairy-free ice lotions and you recognize what I’m biased in direction of Yococo.

In the event you have been ever to make a flavour that tasted like South Africa, what would go into it?

I’m considering turmeric a touch of chilli and pineapple. South Africa for me is such a brilliant, enjoyable and buzzing place now we have a lot selection and it’s a pleasant nation with spice!

And eventually, the place is the Yococo presently primarily based and the way can folks come up with the luxurious tubs of ice cream?

We’re primarily based in Riversands proper now, Riversands incubation hub unit 65, we’re additionally online we provide Jackson’s in Kyalami and Bryanston, Thrupps in Illovo and The Pantry in Rosebank.


Observe us on social media for extra journey information, inspiration, and guides. You too can tag us to be featured. 

TikTok | Instagram Facebook Twitter

ALSO READ: Exploring South Africa’s vibrant art scene: 5 must-visit galleries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *