NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A Bahamian sorbet and ice cream brand is eyeing a 12-fold increase in its production capacity to meet increasing market demand, having secured a fully automated ice cream plant.
A year ago, Melissa Darville and Elvis Percentie, founders and chief executives of Shiver secured $100,000 worth of loans from Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), together with a $50,000 equity investment from the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund and $11,600 in grant funding from the government.
Darville told Eyewitness News that the plant valued at around $60,000 arrived from India last week.
“We’ve been waiting for this equipment for about a year. Right now we can do about 250 units per hour meaning that is small 4 oz containers. With the plant we will be able to do 3,000 units per hour. We were lidding manually but this machine is fully automated. The only thing we have to do is package and so ultimately it reduces our labour. This is going to help us get straight to the market. That was one of the issues that we were having. We weren’t able to supply the demand.” Darville said that within a month or so the plant should be up and running.
“We already have out sorbet line out and we are developing our ice cream line,” said Darville. The company’s sorbet line currently includes mango, passion fruit, sour sop, tamarind and a tropical blend.
“We also have a guava and a blueberry that we are testing on the market right now. People seem to be leaning towards guava.”
The company has customs freezers at numerous retail outlets. “People are loving it We are tripling our projections for those freezers. It’s non-dairy product line and there’s the idea of promoting local fruits. A lot of parents are trying to get their kids off of dairy and it’s less than 100 calories per serving. People are really loving it. We’re getting great feedback. We’re encouraged. We have had excellent reception in the market. We are trying to keep our cost at a minimum so that the retailers can have a healthy mark up. That’s our aim. We don’t really want to be in the retail part of it . We just want to be in manufacturing. We’re already lower than the imported brands and we want to keep it that way,” Darville said.