OK. It’s time for us to take a deep breath and share our darkest secret with you. You’ve read about our amazing staff. You know how training with Bpeace went like a dream. You’ve seen pictures of how our empty shell became something that – maybe – could be described as an ice cream shop.
So everything’s perfect, right? Opening day is tomorrow and there are no problems, yes?
Well… no. There’s one tiny detail that’s been missing. One little problem with one slightly important component of our sweet dream.
The ice cream machine didn’t work.
It took longer than we anticipated to get electricity in our shop. Then Butare suffered a week of power cuts. So we were a little behind schedule when it came to testing out the soft serve machine. But what problems could there possibly be…?
We made the mix.
We emptied our precious, sweet, fruity loveliness into the machine.
The machine made encouraging noises. We waited. Our mouths salivated at the thought of the delicious ice cream soon to hit their tastebuds. The machine stopped making noises. The ice cream was ready. The culmination of everything. The realisation of a sweet dream to make great ice cream here in Rwanda, from local ingredients, for local people. Alexis pulled the lever to release the thick whip of soft serve that we’d been waiting for.
With the grand opening just days away, did we panic?
You bet we did.
We called everyone in the US who knew anything about soft serve. We called Goldline, the distributor for Taylor products in South Africa. We begged. “It’s the refrigerant,” they told us. “You need more.”
Problem diagnosed, we turned to the solution. Only one little problem… the refrigerant is not available in Rwanda. So we called friends in Uganda – they found some in Kampala and jumped on the overnight bus. Meanwhile, a technician departed from Kigali to give us a hand.
The States, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa… the United Nations of ice cream had swung into action, and they were all homing in on a little shop in little Butare.
We made more mix. We poured it into the machine. We waited.
Never in the history of ice cream have so many hearts beat so fast as Alexis’s hand hovered over the lever for a second time.
And then… the answer to our dreams…
All that was left was the tasting. For many of our employees, this was the first time they’d ever tried, or even seen, ice cream. Up to now their belief in the Inzozi Nziza project was on faith alone. It was a big moment… what would the verdict be?
Want to try some for yourself? Come and see us at Inzozi Nziza, Rwanda’s first ever ice cream shop!*
(*Now with ice cream)