Ice-cream refreshes life of young entrepreneur

Making ice-cream has helped Mr Anan Thongsavath to earn at least 1.6 million kip a day, resulting in his family becoming a model household in Phonphanao village, Xaysettha district, Vientiane.
Throughout his four years of business, he has watched sales steadily increase and he now sells at least 30kg of ice-cream every day at 55,000 kip per kilogram, so he earns an average of about 40-50 million kip a month. This income has helped his family to improve their living standards and they are now much better off than before.
Before he embarked on his ice-cream venture, Mr Anan, who owns the Lao Coconut Milk shop, carried out a survey of the ice-cream market before deciding to invest in the business in 2014.

Mr Anan Thongsavath.

He looked around and realised that there were only foreign ice- cream brands being sold in Laos so he decided it was time to test the water with a Lao brand. Fortunately, many of the raw materials he needed such as coconut and other fruit were abundant in Laos.
He turns out flavours depending on their popularity, with mango, durian, black bean and taro topping the list.
To make the ice-cream he uses coconut cream, sugar and fresh fruits. Today, taro and durian and fresh coconut cream are the most popular with his customers.
His main shop is near Chao Anouvong Park and he has outlets at more than 20 locations in Vientiane, including at coffee shops, which open at 5pm.
Anan also sells icecream at trade fairs and other events to make his products more widely known.  He sells most of his ice-cream on a wholesale basis at village festivals, religious ceremonies held at people’s houses, and at parties. 
Making ice-cream does not require a large amount of money and Anan can make a decent profit because the ingredients he uses are available locally.
He says it’s easy to make the ice-cream because he has a modern machine. He mixes all the ingredients together before putting them into the machine.
He employs five people, who mostly help to cut up coconuts, as they are the main ingredient and generate the most work. Sometimes the cost of coconuts rises and he has to go from village to village in search of fresh coconuts. 
After making ice-cream for four years, he observes that his family’s standard of living is better than before. And he’s very proud of the fact that, thanks to his efforts, his family has been selected as a model family in Phonphanao village.
He has applied for his ice-cream to be named a One District, One Product item for Xaysettha district, and hopes his application will be successful. The forms have been filled in and it now remains for the ice-cream to be tested for quality at the Food and Drug Department, Ministry of Health.
To expand the market and give customers more choice, Anan now plans to make ice-cream sticks, which he anticipates being ready for sale in the next two or three months.
He plans to distribute them for sale at more than 90 minimarts in Vientiane. If this product proves popular, he also plans to sell it in the provinces in the years to come.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update June 9, 2018

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