Paul's Homeade Ice Cream

Paul's Homeade Ice Cream
Paul studied clinical psychology at WITS and for his 21st birthday, his mom bought him an ice cream maker. His father is from America so he travels there every year - while in the States he noticed that South Africa lacks the ice cream culture that is so prominent overseas.
Selling wasn't his first priority - he started giving his dessert away as gifts. But in 2010 he had an ice cream day at his house, then created a Facebook page and started selling.
Q: Have you always been obsessed with ice cream?
A: No, not really. My family is quite healthy. They don't really eat a lot of ice cream. 
Q: What do you love about what you do?
A: Marketing a niche product in a difficult market is quite a challenge. It's also quite creative coming up with interesting flavours, and it's amazing to see how social media impacts this kind of thing.  
I'm trying to be innovative with flavours, so I release three limited editions for two weeks at a time (flavours available until 24 November are: Buttered Popcorn, Aztek Chocolate and Salted Caramel). 
Q: Why do you think South Africa lacks an ice cream culture?
A: We don't really travel on foot, and ice cream is an impulse buy. Walking around overseas, you'd be like 'oh, it's hot, I feel like something sweet I'll grab an ice-cream,' but here it's a bit of a problem - we're always driving.
The majority of the population also can't afford such luxury products. Nine out of 10 can't even afford a loaf of bread so...
If you think about coffee culture, it was non-existent here about 10 to 15 years ago. In the States and Europe, ice cream is probably at a similar level to coffee so, who knows, it could become really popular. But at the moment, if you go to a supermarket in the States, you'll see freezers and freezers full of ice cream. Here, we have meat. Lots of meat.  
Q: Your ice cream costs more than the average. Why?
A: Paul's 'artisan' ice cream is the real thing. What we get at your run of the mill supermarket isn't even called ice cream in Europe, since it lacks a key ingredient - cream. They just call it iced dessert. The store-bought versions are so cheap because they're just water mixed with powder. It's crap. 
My vision is to make people aware of the fact that ice cream should be something that should be eaten for quality rather than in quantity.
Q: What's the creation process like?
A: I'm a one-man show. I do the shopping (farm fresh ingredients), make the ice cream and brand it. It's all about quality over quantity for me. There's time and craft involved. It's quite the process, taking close to an hour to make each batch. 
Q: Who is your target market?
A: I should be targeting housewives, because it's quite expensive. It's made from real ingredients. But it's difficult to market to housewives because they're not really active on social media, my main source of communication. But they'll buy Häagen-Dazs because it has a big brand behind it.  
Q: What's your craziest flavour?
A: Probably buttered popcorn.
Q: What's your favourite flavour?
A: I'm into the more sophisticated flavours like ginger, green tea, chai.
Q: Your biggest challenges currently?
A: Ice cream has logistical issues. Also, people who haven't tasted the product are hesitant to fork out for it so I rely heavily on social media and word of mouth for that initial impact. 
Q: Do you let people taste before they buy?
A: It's tricky. They have to either come to me or arrange a tasting. If they want to taste they can, but it's a mission. I'll probably start doing really tiny tasters, like a few ml or something. But trying to keep such a small amount of ice cream frozen. Imagine.
Find Paul's Artisan Ice Cream on Facebook, Twitter and Wordpress.
by Nicole Samakosky
Try Paul's Homemade Ice Cream for Buttered Popcorn, Green Tea and more odd, yet alluring ice cream flavours from Jozi's up and coming dessert entrepreneur.