Reihaneh, like many foodpreneurs, is a visual creator but Reihaneh takes it next level with her business TA’LA ice cream. A trained architecture she now creates artisan ice cream with 13 SKU’s and flavours that nod back to her homeland of Persia – think saffron, pistachio and rosewater. Reihaneh sells her ice cream to luxury hotels and has been on a big learning curve finding out how to sell one’s own creation when all one really wants to do is keep creating. A challenge many foodpreneurs don’t account for before launch but the need creeps up very quickly as the expenses pile up and bills need to be paid.
Read how Reihaneh is taking Ta’la ice cream to new heights and keeps motivated because she does it all for her grand vision – to help empower disadvantaged kids through education and skills training.
How would you describe the business you are in?
TA’LA ice cream celebrates the artisan work of my grandfather and the nostalgic flavours of exotic Persia.
I have made it my mission to let Australians share the mesmerising pleasure I had with this mouth-watering, delicious ice cream.
My focus is to recreate the same taste-provoking experience of Persian ice cream. I do this by blending exotic flavours, artisan techniques, fresh Australian ingredients and quality production process.
We wholesale our ice cream to food service and retail. Luxury hotels and specialty retailers in Sydney and Melbourne are among our current clients.
TA’LA is truthful to value of “inclusiveness”. We want to make sure no one is left out. Our product range includes Vegan, Gluten free and Egg free.
I have a grand vision; it is to use the business profit to help empower disadvantaged kids through education and skills training, so they can stand up for their rights and fulfil their potential.
What do you love about your work?
I did architecture and I love creating, I can use my artistic skills to develop artisan products and have the chance to constantly bring new flavours to life and share it with everyone.
It brings me joy to be able to keep my grandpa’s legacy alive by bringing pleasure to Australians by offering these delicious flavours, and to share the joy I experienced as a kid with everyone.
Being an inclusive brand makes me smile, our entire range is gluten free and egg free, we have vegan range and we are working on our sugar free ice cream range for diabetes.
The best part of it for me is being my own boss and I love the flexibility when it comes to working hours.
What part of your job would you gladly give away?
I have already given the production part away, and have much less to worry about regarding logistics and compliance requirements. Since I started contract manufacturing we have added two new flavours and also started our Popsicle range, from 2 SKUs to 13 SKUs.
Outsourcing production freed up my time to focus more on the importance of product development and enhancement.
I would gladly give the sale part away as well, I am confident in presenting how good my product is and I can talk about it forever but when it comes to sales pitches, I think I would need someone else to go out there and do the pitch!
If you were starting out in business again today, what piece of advice would you give your younger you?
Recently I have revisited defining my customer avatar with Chelsea, and I strongly recommend everyone to invest their time to make their avatar as clear as possible; when that is clear, then your marketing message becomes clear and therefore you start attracting the right customers.
Seek help at early stages of your business from mentors and helpers. You would never have enough time to learn everything on your own or do everything alone
Women start businesses 41% of the time to solve a problem. Sometimes this means we have a great vision but don’t have enough resources to sustain our business for the long term. Tell us what resources you started your business with eg. money saved, business premises, business partner, and how long before you started paying yourself?
I started my business with saved up money but from the beginning I set it up in a way that it had small overheads, so small capital could get me a long way. Although I use the earnings to cover the cost, I haven’t started to pay myself yet, but hopefully in the near future.
As you know we are passionate about women #backingthemselves. So tell us about a time in the last twelve months that you’re really proud of.
I am proud that my grand vision helped me persevere when there were so many moments of self-doubt and hard times, especially with Covid-19 when all my leads went bust. After losing my leads with a distributor I froze for a while before I eventually got back on track.
At that point, I decided that my business has so much more potential and I was determined to take it further and that’s when I started Chelsea’s advanced coaching offer, Business Coaching Acceleration Program™. Working with Chelsea has enabled me to learn how to focus and how to take all the little steps that I need to take toward a more successful business.
As we are always growing and learning, what is the one thing you would like to take time to learn more about?
There are so many things that I would like to learn more about, but since I have to choose one; I would like to spend my time learning about scheduling and managing my social media.
The world is changing so fast and technology enables us to do so much more. We’re interested in which app you could not live without and why?
I did architecture and I am a visual learner; Trello and Canva has been my two best to go. Trello for my visual boards and tasks and canva for breaking my daily tasks in a visual calendar that I can colour code and reorganise.
Why did you decide to become a member of the Foodpreneurs Formula®?
A friend on mine was a member of Kiosk. For Women in Food & Drink, Chelsea’s free Facebook group and suggested the group to me, thanks Lisa…I am forever grateful.
And after being in Kiosk a short while, I then joined her coaching program, Foodpreneurs Formula® because when you are in a food and drink business and you are on your own, it can get extremely lonely and especially when taking the first steps to do something… there is a mountain of questions with every step that no google search can provide any answers for.
Being a member has helped me to be confident, learned to back myself and also not to be afraid to ask…
Chelsea always says if you have a question, others often have the same ones, so by asking yours, you might help others get their questions answered. The group is extremely supportive and it makes it easier to share our wins with like-minded females that are going to cheer you up and be happy for your success.
We love to celebrate successes. Can you give us an example of how joining the Foodpreneurs Formula® has positively impacted your business?
Where to start…Chelsea’s Foodpreneurs Formula® is one of a kind, it is jam packed with useful information that if you put time and energy to implement, your business will go from strength to strength.
One of the main things that I have learned is to focus; and that on its own is a big lesson. Before working with Chelsea I didn’t have a system in place to predict my success, now I have things broken in quarterly goals and I only focus on those goals.
Also, often with small businesses at the beginning there is the tendency of pleasing everyone, and that works against driving in more customers. You need to find your niche by defining your avatar, therefore your message becomes clear and that is when you would attract the right customers.
I would definitely and wholeheartedly recommend anyone in a food and drink business that wants more success in their business, no matter at what stage, to join the Foodpreneurs Formula®.
Thank you Reihaneh.
Want to read more about another successful member? Check out our ‘What’s Cooking’ interview with Sonal Patel, founder Shilu’s Vegetarian.