No, no, not mambo, I'm talking about
Yes, Ian has managed to turn his hobby/obsession into an actual full fledged business (with a little help from me and Sadie - the official tasters). !Que Rico! Helado is booming!
I think I mentioned a few posts back that it is for sale in handy "to go" size containers at the Beach Dog Cafe. Ian now sometimes makes several deliveries there a week and discussions regarding possible expansion ideas are in the works. The Beach Dog Cafe is in a perfect spot, within walking distance of the beach. Remember that in Nosara there are no businesses right on the beach, so the Beach Dog is actually in a prime location, a mere "block" up the road, to entice weary sunbathers and surfers to stop and get some ice cream. In addition, it happens to be a place we, ourselves, love. They have great food and delicious smoothies, prices are good, the folks that work there are great, as is the ambiance. We couldn't ask for a better primary client.
To help promote the business we created a Facebook Fan Page ("!Que Rico! Helado") and are proud to have 23 "likes" (and 4 of those people even live in Nosara!).
In addition to the Beach Dog, we decided to try our hand at selling ice cream at the local Farmer's Market, held every Saturday in the parking lot of a hotel/restaurant. We spent the week prepping - getting both small and large containers, making labels and signs, making lots of ice cream, buying a cooler, etc. - and on Saturday morning at 7:00 am, we all packed the car and headed down the hill to set up.
Though it was initially challenging to get people to taste or buy ice cream at 7:30 in the morning, business soon picked up. We offered two sizes for sale of Mango, Strawberry, Salted Caramel and Peppermint Oreo, and by 9:30 we were almost completely sold out of everything. We gave away the dregs of the samples and a couple of small size containers and called it a day.
In addition to the profit we made, I think the Farmer's Market also helped build up !Que Rico!'s fan base. Many folks had already had the ice cream at the Beach Dog and were thrilled to be able to buy a larger container of their favorite flavor. Others came and tasted for the first time and many of those will hopefully head to the Beach Dog for more.
Okay, so we're not quite in the same league as the cheese guy, but it's a start.
On a more personal note, though Ian was not totally comfortable in the vendor role, I found the whole social aspect of selling at the market to be quite fun. I told him he is more than welcome to stick to making the ice cream and send me to the market to sell it.
All in all, a successful venture for !Que Rico!
This week !Que Rico! is experimenting with new flavors. Anyone care for a chocolate covered strawberry? If so, come see me next week at the Farmer's Market. I'll be at the small rickety table next to the cheese guy with the refrigerator and the huge tent.