Kyamazima squeezes her money from fruits

Sunday April 28 2019

Investment.  You can bottle your juice and sell

Investment. You can bottle your juice and sell it wholesale to local grocery stores, restaurants, fitness centres and cafes. PHOTO BY EDGAR R BATTE 

By Edgar R. Batte

One of the pillars of her business is her mentor. Ataliah Kyamazima holds Doreen Akankwasa in high esteem because she has given her important tips on how to run and stay in business.

Kyamazima runs ‘Nature Pick’, an enterprise that sells chilled juice, vegetables and all healthy foods at a shop front located among a cluster of business enterprises, after the mosque in Ntinda.
“My mentor has told me that in business, I should not fear to negotiate in order to sell or buy more for less. In decision making, she discourages me from making quick decisions before considering all other available options,” she explains. For example, when she needed to purchase a juice dispenser, Akankwasa moved with her to a number of places until they were able to buy it at the ‘best’ price in the market.
Additionally, she reminds her mentee not to spend unnecessarily so that she can save, how to talk to customers with respect and how to attract business. “She tells people about my business and gets me jobs. She told me to always be ready for bad days too and not to get discouraged when things don’t go my way. She celebrates with me on a big achievement,” Kyamazima adds.

Why ‘Nature Pick’
The entrepreneur chose to call her business initiate ‘Nature Pick’ because nature has always been a big inspiration to her.
She came up with the idea of making juice in April 2017 after a birthday party that she helped host. As they chatted with a friend with whom she had made the juice for the guests, her mind opened to the possibility of earning from making juice.

She made simple research among friends, asking them if they would pay for juice. “I found out that most people are ready and willing to pay for what is worth their money. In this case, healthy juice that is sugar free and with no preservatives added.”

For general customers, she makes various kinds: passion fruit, mango, tangerine, lemon and avocado; another with watermelon, beetroot and carrot and the other with pineapple and ginger.
“I also take special orders for customers with different choices or needs like from those who would like to lose weight, gain weight, those who are diabetics among other preferences,” she explains.

She packages the juices in containers of 500 millilitres, 1,000 millilitres and even five-litre containers. When she started making juice on a commercial scale, Kyamazima did not have sufficient resources.


She started with Shs320,000, the salary she had earned from a kyeyo gig she had done with a company called TrueNorth Consultant. With the money in hand, she made a list of all the things she needed to kick-start the business.
She bought a blender at Shs80,000, a big saucepan for boiling water at Shs70,000, a charcoal stove at Shs25,000, a bucket at Shs8,000, packaging material of Shs50,000, a sieve at Shs6,000, charcoal of Shs5,000 and fruits of Shs50,000.
The other costs covered her transport fares, airtime and meals.

On her first day in business, she decided to let potential customers taste her products so she moved through different trading centres, including Kansanga, Kabalagala, Ntinda and Muyenga.
She did this as she shared her address with them. Some visited her stall and supported the business. From the onset though, she kept ploughing back, every profit she made, into the business.

“This helped me save and accumulate money to keep ploughing back into the business. Then I would do research and learn about juicing and different juices that would fit my customers’ demands as well as the equipment I needed. I would save for one item at a time. That’s how I am still growing,” adds the small scale business woman.
Her daily savings range between Shs15,000 and Shs25,000. In handling her finances, Kyamazima follows a budget. She minimises spending and saves part of her profit.
She rents the space within which she operates the enterprise at Shs200,000, per month. Sunny days are her favourite business days as people yearn to quench their thirst.

Proud.   Kyamazima says the sky can only be the
Proud. Kyamazima says the sky can only be the limit as she grows her business.

“I have also heard some of them talking about the juice helping them treat hangovers.” Passion and Mango juice is consumed more.
“I have learnt that one cannot put their ego before the business, that customers are always right. Even if they are telling you something that you know is impossible or wrong, you always have to listen until they are done. Then you can decide on a polite response.”
Another lesson she has learnt from doing business, is financial discipline. “I pay myself for work done so that I keep my hands out of the business coffers. In essence, my business and I are different people.”

She plans to have a juice parlour from which she can deliver to a wider area, and get hired to do functions. She says she is towards attaining her plan. For now, she is using social media to attract more customers to support her business in order to save more.
“Whenever Iam at a gathering, I make sure I mention what I do to someone in anticipation of turning them into my customer. I am confident about what I do,” she adds.

For general customers, Ataliah Kyamazima makes various kinds; one with passion fruit, mango, tangerine, lemon and avocado, another with watermelon, beetroot and carrot and the other with pineapple and ginger.
“I also take special orders for customers with different choices or needs like from those who would like to lose weight, gain weight, those who are diabetics among other preferences,” she explains.

Tips for starting a juice business

A growing number of people prefer freshly squeezed juice or juice bottled without added colouring, flavours and preservatives, making this a great business opportunity. To get started, you will need your recipes, some equipment and permission from your district health departments. Opening a juice business seems pretty straight forward. You make juice, and you sell it. Easy money. Well, there are some things you need to figure out before everything can be open and operating.

Determine your niche
Come up with a niche for your juice business. For example, you can focus on selling organic juices, energy juice, juice smoothies or selling bottled juices wholesale.

Prepare a business plan
Write a business plan that includes details about your niche; three-year operating expenses; three-year profit projections; marketing and public relations strategies; analysis of competing businesses; information about potential vendors and selling venues.

Create juice recipes
Create juice recipes for your business, including flavours that are not commonly found in grocery stores.
A varied menu will give customers an incentive to patronise your business. For example, orange and pineapple juice are common flavours, but watermelon-acai and strawberry-carrot aren’t as typical.

Research licenses and permits
Contact your district health department to find out what permits you need to start a food business. A food enterprise license, food manager certification or food handler permit may be required.
Obtain the licences required by your district to operate a retail business. Depending on your business structure and the state you live in, you may also need an assumed name certificate or sales and use tax permit.

Locate produce suppliers
Find vendors to buy produce, if you won’t be
growing your own. Try to buy local – and in bulk
– to save on transportation costs. Contact farmers markets and growers associations in your area for a list of potential produce suppliers. If you opt to go with organic produce, it will cost you more to make the juice, but you can also charge more to customers.

Find a great location
Secure venues to sell your juice. Options include flea markets, a roadside stand, farmers market, city festival, carnival or fair, or shopping mall food court booth. Alternatively, you can bottle your juice and sell it wholesale to local grocery stores, restaurants, delis, fitness centres and cafes. Doing so will require that you bottle the juices at a licensed facility, such as a food manufacturing plant or commercial kitchen.

Buy equipment and supplies
Buy wholesale commercial-grade juicers and supplies like cups, napkins and utensils, to save money as opposed to paying retail prices.

Market your business
Market your juice business. Send news releases to local media outlets, sponsor a fitness day or health fair, launch a promotional website or open social networking accounts.

Have an expert on your team
If you are getting into the juice industry for the first time, make sure you have someone on your team that is an expert. An expert can be someone that has managed a similar business to yours. It is ok if it’s not exactly juice. If you are starting a juice bar, you can hire a good restaurant and food and beverage manager. If you are starting wholesale juice business, find someone with experience in managing a juice or other wholesale beverage business. The fastest and easiest way to tap into the knowledge of a juice expert is to hire a consultant that can help you make a plan, develop recipes, and train your staff on equipment.

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