The founder of YoCoco, a dairy-free vegan ice-cream, has an interesting name: Sine Ndlela. The name and surname combine to mean: We have a way.
It’s a Zulu play of words where Sine means ‘We have a’ and Ndlela means ‘Way’.
It should be no surprise then that Sine Ndlela turned her frustrations into an enterprise.
She recognised a gap in the market when she decided to pursue a vegan lifestyle but couldn’t find anywhere to purchase vegan-friendly ice-cream. Yo Coco was then built on the principle of serving love to people and preserving the environment while doing it.
The dairy-free and vegan ice-cream has been recognised by Eat Out South Africa and regularly sells out at Sunday markets. Sine also delivers directly to her clients.
Her story was collected from a session of To The Point, a Property Point gathering designed to support, equip, motivate and most importantly understand emerging entrepreneurs. The session which came with Sine’s story explored the concept of artisanal entrepreneurship and in particular the driving factors.
The session revealed that necessity is just one element that drives creative youth into entrepreneurship. The other key but soft elements include pursuit of happiness, freedom, passion and drive to change things.
So why did Sine choose to become an entrepreneur?
“I moved to Joburg to make my dream come true in the TV industry. When I got here, I found it wasn’t as great as I had expected. I really questioned what I was doing. I didn’t want to live to make money by doing something I didn’t necessarily enjoy.
“So, I asked myself: ‘what is my purpose?’ I love ice-cream. I wanted to be vegan but didn’t want to live without ice-cream. I had a look at what was available to buy, and it wasn’t great so, I decided to change that.
“My family thought I was crazy and I could tell that some people saw my ice-cream making as a hobby. That’s when I knew I needed to take myself seriously if I wanted to be a profitable businesswoman. This year is our one year anniversary and I couldn’t be happier that I stuck it out. YoCoco believes in serving love, and we do so in various ways including some of the initiatives we support. I think that’s what makes us different. For us, it’s more than just ice-cream.”