Slushy taste takes Gaborone by storm
Last year on a very hot day, Kofi Shagwa, 29 was craving a slushy-a drink his dad liked while in Canada, but could not find it around and this led to the birth of Slushy King.
“While I was abroad for four years, Slushy was my drink of choice, so when I couldn’t find it I thought I should buy myself a household slushy machine,” Shagwa tells Voice Money from his business spot in front of University of Botswana’s Block 252.
“But after a second thought I decided to do a market research to find out if there was a need.
I wanted to bring slushy to Botswana. Slushy is basically juice of some sort which is mixed with crushed ice in a slushy machine.
The machine’s blades crush the ice which in turn is mixed with the juice containing a special ingredient.
You can not make a slushy with ordinary juice so I buy the juice from South Africa.”
Though it was very cold end of April this year, and the only beverage that made sense was tea or coffee, Shagwa says he decided to launch the business anyway and the response was staggering.
He said, “You know how cold it was end of April, but despite the whether, people were interested.
We have been in business since the beginning of winter and you can imagine what will happen when Botswana’s summer heat is at its peak.”
Soon the university went on break and it was time to look for other ways to stay afloat without the cold defying students.
Shagwa heaved a sigh of relief when the organisers of the Steinmertz Marathon and PPC King of the Hill Marathon contacted him and said they were interested in him coming to sell at the races.
“After that, opportunities just came knocking.
I was at Masa Square for ‘Toys for Boys’ themed Father’s Day event, Trade Fair and the Consumer Fair and just recently I was at the Lady Khama Charitable Foundation event but imagine how extreme the winter was.
And now University students are back from their break and I am back here.”
Those who think Slushy is for kids should ask an elderly customer who had her first taste of Slushy at the consumer fair.
“This lady said she thought the drinks looked too sweet for her liking so I recommended that I could give her an orange flavour to taste and if she didn’t like it she wouldn’t have to pay.
You know what she paid for it and later came back to buy five more. We have nine different flavours to choose from.”
KFC with their crushers and milkshakes might give him competition after all there have been here longer but Shagwa is not worried.
“I offer many more flavours than they do and besides I get invited to corporate events.
The Slushy is usually used for cocktails and is also much cheaper, selling for only P10,” he said and added, “The main challenge I face is need to create awareness of this new product in the market.
When they see it for the first time, customers think the slushy is just another ordinary drink so we need to show them the benefits.
The slushy is always chilled no matter how hot it gets because machine’s temperature is constantly very cold.”
Shagwa plans to buy five more Slushy makers and increase his staff to 10 from the current four as well as introduce two other beverages by the end of the year.
Although not trained as a chef he became passionate about food while working as a chef in Canada and says he would have gone into fine dining in five years. Watch this space!