Sep 23 2021. views 260
Created by the three Sahill siblings, Shimraz, Amaan and Shamara, Pot Colombo is a relatively new hotspot that began this year where they serve impeccable homemade gelato in a pot. With its origins in Italy, Gelato is a frozen dessert that entices your taste buds with its creamy flavours and is also known to be a better substitute for ice cream due to its lower percentage of fat and lesser calories. In addition to incorporating sustainable values such as ‘recycling’ into their business model, the three founders tell us what prompted them to start Pot Colombo and how Gelato is becoming popular within the Sri Lankan community.
What kind of gelato do you offer?
We offer gelato of six flavours as of now. The flavours are; Nutella, Hazelnut, Biscoff, Oreo, Kit Kat and Kulfi flavoured pots. We serve them in different sizes, which we have named Cubby pots (180 ml), Family pots (600 ml) and Hybrid pots (950 ml) which is a mix of two flavours.
What inspired you to start Pot Colombo?
The inspiration for the start of serving gelato came from something that we as siblings used to do. We usually try out different toppings or mixtures when we have ice cream at home, which inspired us to start up this business. The idea to serve in clay pots rather than plastic or paper cups were because we believe in the concept of ‘Return to Earth’, hence we use the principles of recycling in our business.
Gelato in pots is a relatively new dessert concept in Sri Lanka. How is it different from its substitutes such as ice cream?
Our gelato is quite creamy and as we serve it in a clay pot, which produces a unique flavour while holding the well-frozen ice cream. We make sure that the ingredients we include in our gelato are authentic and that it brings out the punch while satisfying the taste buds of our customers.
What would you say differentiates your business from your competitors?
The fact that we have a zero plastic policy and take steps in order to make sure we return to Mother Nature. Our pots are reused by customers in various ways such as planting and decorating. We can also say that we are also the first-ever business to serve gelato in clay pots.
What are your most popular flavours?
Even though every flavour has its unique taste, our personal opinions on the most popular flavours amongst customers would be Nutella, Kulfi and Kit Kat.
What are some of the challenges you have faced during the operation of Pot Colombo?
The scarcity of materials and ingredients used for the business has been a challenge to us during the startup. There weren’t many suppliers around the area who could provide clay pots in bulk and even with regards to the ingredients we import, it wasn’t available for quite some time due to the pandemic. However, with the hard work and effort we put into finding them, we’ve overcome the obstacles.
What kind of an impact has Covid-19 made on Pot Colombo?
We would like to say that Covid has had a positive as well as a negative impact on our business. Not forgetting to mention, the start-up of the business was during the pandemic so, that is something positive. We’ve reached out to a massive base of customers through social media platforms during times of lockdown. The negative impact of Covid-19 would be not being able to find proper suppliers as there are limitations to go out and hunt.
What is the most fulfilling thing you have felt whilst running this business?
The most fulfilling thing we’ve felt is the feedback and support we get through customers. It is really overwhelming when a customer is satisfied with our product. There wouldn’t be anything else that makes us stronger and better.
What kind of progress is gelato-making within the food industry?
Gelato has made a special place in people’s hearts. Anyone from elders to youngsters loves it! Call it a celebration, a special occasion or even an after-lunch dessert, Gelato is what people think of. It is considered a top dessert in the food industry regardless of the weather or any time of the day.
What are your future plans for Pot Colombo?
The future plans for Pot Colombo would be to expand and put up an outlet. For now, we supply two outlets but our ultimate goal would be to have outlets of our own.
text Tiranya Ranasinghe