The cents of scooping in Rwanda
- By Rena Fried
Jerrie Gullick, a retired Pontiflex exec, describes Inzozi Nziza (Sweet Dreams) Ice Cream as an oasis in Butare. “Both the staff and the store’s appearance are friendly and welcoming and it is clear that they have worked hard on customer service. It is an inviting place to walk into and there is no other place with the same atmosphere in Butare; it is a very positive change.”
Inzozi Nziza (Sweet Dreams) Ice Cream, is the non-profit venture of Blue Marble Ice Cream based in Brooklyn, NY. Every day, Inzozi Nziza offers two flavors of creamy soft-serve in addition to fresh fruit juice, pastries, and omelets—traditionally served for breakfast and lunch. The store uses local eggs and has their milk delivered to them on the back of a bicycle in a 10 gallon metal container.
Jerrie traveled to Rwanda in May to train the Inzozi Nziza staff in accounting. She worked extensively with them on QuickBooks. She taught the women how to import their historical data and worked with them on keeping the current records up to date so that they could immediately compare their financials.
Together, they learned how to determine the cost of the sugar, milk and other ingredients in each product to assess which products were the most profitable and which they were losing money on. “The women immediately understood the importance of profitability in sustaining their business and instantly stopped producing banana cake after they learned that they were losing money on the sweet treat.”
Accounting for their finances also helped the women truly understand the purpose of portioning. While the women were taught about the importance of consistent portions in their original training, their instinctual generosity often led them to be too liberal when serving ice cream. Jerrie said, "the switch went on immediately for the women when they learned how much each cup of ice cream costs to make. They realized that properly portioning the ice cream wasn't a sign of stinginess, rather it was a necessary business practice."
“The women at Inzozi Nziza are astute and business savvy. They recognize that they need to raise their revenue in order to cover their operating costs.” With Jerrie’s instruction, the women now understand the true cost of their products and are working together as a team to uphold economically disciplined business practices while continuing to have the best customer service and brightest smiles in Butare.