Before their frozen dessert business began, Thula Ndema and Thato Masondo worked at Zara as sales assistants. Every day whilst on their way to work the couple passed discarded fruit and vegetables and began to rethink solutions to this waste. The couple decided to save surplus fruit that was discarded from street vendors so that they could use it to produce organic sorbets.
As for the name, the couple was inspired by their relationship so they decided to call the product Sobae. The term “bae” means boyfriend/girlfriend. The frozen dessert is unique because it is made with vegetables and very ripe fruit which lessens food wastage. It takes 3 days to process the hand-crafted organic sorbet. Their pop up store is located at Victoria Yards, Johannesburg alternatively you can place orders online on www.sobae.co.za. The duo also works with VY Commons who assist them with a sharing space for makers, at Maker’s valley.
It hasn’t been easy for the duo. They started selling the sorbet outside the market in Maboneng because they couldn’t afford the market fees. At some point, they had to move in with Ndema’s grandmother to save on costs. They made a lot of sacrifices and researched more about the Sorbet industry before quitting their jobs and setting up their shop. “You just need to start your business. Don’t just talk about it because when you talk about it then someone else will do it,” said Masondo.