Shreya Upadhyay and Kritika Lamsal
Co-founders, Sweet fix
It is often a hard decision to give up a secure job and walk the uncertainties of entrepreneurship, however, Shreya Upadhyay and Kritika Lamsal, decided to do just that. Both partners worked in the development sector previously, and both had a strong urge to create something of their own.
“Kritika and I were friends and we used to hang out together most of the time. Once, when we went out in a hot summer craving to have something refreshing, we had popsicles. We realised the only popsicles we could find in the market were artificially flavoured popsicles and saw the opportunity to introduce real fruit popsicles in the market,” shares Upadhyay. “We then started experimenting with recipes and flavours at home and asked friends and family to taste those popsicles,” she recalls. “The positive feedback we received was what gave us the confidence to actually start a business,” she exclaims.
Upadhyay relates that both friends had saved up money to go on a trip to Europe but instead decided to invest into starting their business. Basantapur was the first outlet in 2018. “The initial days were hectic as we had to do everything by ourselves from preparing recipes to handling customers,” she says. In a short span, they got a lot of attention, great sales and today, Sweet fix has outlets in Mangalbazar, Jhamsikhel, Bhaisepati and Basantapur.
The major reason for their success, says Upadhyay, is the real fruit that they use in the popsicles which gives natural flavours and the popsicles taste like real fruit. We can say a fruit in another form. “Maintaining the consistency in taste was a major challenge. Sourcing fruits and raw materials is a challenge especially due to change in seasons,” she shares.
One of the unique selling propositions of Sweet fix is that their popsicles are handcrafted in small batches. The other thing is that they use seasonal fruits in the popsicles with no any artificial colouring. “Nepali fruits have high flavour potential and we want our customers to experience that through our product. With every season, our menu changes,” Upadhyay shares.
“We have also expanded our business through partnerships with various eateries and marts in the valley. Recently, we extended our partnership in Pokhara as well. We usually decide our partnerships based on customer feedback and ease of availability,” she states. They are also open to taking constant feedback from customers to ensure their product takes top tier in their minds.
Upadhyay says that the last five years of running the business has taught them that sticking to one idea does not always work, especially in the food business. Without prior business experience, the journey has not been easy but definitely worthwhile, share the duo. Their team has been their greatest asset and she shares that, “The team has grown from the beginning, but the initial staff are still with us while we grow.” The company currently employs 15 people but they have plans to expand the team and the distribution network.
There is a high demand for popsicles in the summers, but Sweet fix has introduced creamy popsicles made from cookies and chocolates, some are centre-filled, which are not very icy for the winters that make a great dessert.