How Aditya who loved making ice-creams on weekends built Cold Love, an artisanal & all-natural ice cream brand

#founder - Order on Zomato| Swiggy| Website | 9711136997 @ Gurgaon | Delhi | Noida

YC - What is your background? What motivated you to start the company and what is it all about?

Aditya - I have an Economics degree and an MBA and many years of experience in the media industry, in consulting and as a tech entrepreneur. Making ice cream was a weekend hobby for me and I would take some of my ice creams with me if we were invited out to someone’s house for dinner. When I sold my previous company – which was in the ed-tech space – I decided I would test the concept for upscale artisanal ice cream and I set up stalls at a couple of fairs, which gave me the confidence to go ahead and launch Cold Love Ice Cream.

YC - Could you please share with our readers about your core team and their roles :

Aditya - It’s a very small team at the moment – I run the business, I have a team in the kitchen, a delivery/operations teams and a Marketing Manager. A number of other roles in accounts etc are outsourced and we have partnered with other companies for delivery in different parts of Delhi and outside. “I also get a lot of advice from a friend and shareholder in the business - Samir Kuckreja. Samir used to be the CEO of Nirula’s and is a very experienced F&B professional who runs a consulting company called Tasanaya. He was one of the first people to taste my ice cream and tell me that there was a chance we could turn this into a successful business.”

YC - As a founder what primary functions are you responsible for, basically how typically you spend your day in the office?

Aditya - I call myself the Chef Executive Officer because I had initially developed all the recipes myself and used to spend at least half my time in the kitchen. Now I have a very good Chef who has more than 15 years of experience making ice cream, so the kitchen team is taken care of. But I am still involved with most aspects on the business side, so no day is the same as any other. One area I am very particular about and which I try to give as much time as possible is being in touch with the customer, so I take a lot of customer calls and speak to as many of our customers as possible. Since our business is mainly on delivery, the phone and Whatsapp are the primary touchpoints with most of our customers.

YC - Have you used social media platforms to promote your products or services? Which channels have been very effective for your business? Which marketing channels have been super flops for your business?

Aditya - We have used Facebook, Instagram and Google ads very successfully to build an online brand. We also use Instagram and Facebook to build an organic following for the brand. Over time this has enabled us to develop a significant customer database that we can now contact directly. I have found that buying Whatsapp lists is a complete waste of money and have had mixed results with Instagram “influencers”.

YC - What according to you is the USP of your product or service, for which your customers come back to you?

At the heart of our success is the fact that we have a really good product. Customer acquisition is a very expensive proposition, but we have a very high rate of customer retention thanks to the product and so the acquisition cost gets amortised over the lifetime of a repeat customer. Apart from the product, we are also very focused on customer service, both in terms of responsiveness, but also in the tone and manner in which we communicate with the customer.

YC - Can you elaborate on the challenges you faced in promoting your business?

Aditya - As with almost any other business in the Foods & Beverages (F&B) segment, the biggest challenge for us has been Covid. When we launched the business in January 2020 we intended to launch a number of cafes and dark kitchens. Then Covid happened and so we had to completely change our business model and built out a home-delivery operation in a short period of time. Today we have freezers in different parts of the NCR so that we can deliver ice cream in good condition and in quick time to any address. We are also in the process of expanding our home delivery operations to Hyderabad, Lucknow and Jaipur. So while Covid was a big challenge, we were successful in re-orienting our business and our home delivery operations are today highly profitable. 

YC - Do you use any tools or software to manage your business? Is there any problem in your day to day operations that you wish could be solved with the help of software?

Aditya - We do use some software tools for our website, to process orders and to generally run the business. Our most sophisticated use of the software is done by our performance marketing team who are constantly analysing our online advertising performance and ROIs. 

YC - What is the current traction? Can you share some numbers on your order volume, number of customers and revenue?

Aditya - In Delhi NCR, we are processing and delivering around 100 orders a day on average.

YC - Based on your experience so far would you have any advice for new Entrepreneurs.

Aditya - It’s difficult to generalise advice to an entrepreneur because every business has its own nuances, but the two biggest learnings I have is:

  1. Have a good partner who you can constantly be talking to and sharing thought and ideas and

  2. As an entrepreneur, you have to be very flexible and constantly looking for creative ways to solve problems, which are likely to confront you on a very regular basis.

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