These are a few interview style questions that we put to Sophia Brothers about her battle with work life balance as Nonna’s Gelato breaks into a the street food industry. They had a pop up store at our event at the Boutique Workplace and we’ve been missing their gelato ever since.
Start-up projects and entrepreneurship are a big talking point right now with a move away from faceless corporate jobs towards the dream of ‘making your stamp on your industry’. But what is it really like for a young adult trying to make their way in an ever-condensing market of brands and influencers? Read Sophia’s answers to find out.
What is your role now and what are the main responsibilities for you?
I’m the founder of Nonna’s Gelato and as we are still a very small business I’m pretty much responsible for everything! I make all our gelato by hand in small batches using only the best of local and seasonal produce. I then deliver it to local restaurants or serve it from our very pretty tricycle at all types of events and many markets across London, during the warmer months.
How long have you been doing this for and what did you do before?
We’ve been up and running for nearly two years now although I still feel like it’s a dream sometimes! I used to work at the Science Museum, for their photographic archive so it was a completely new industry for me but my love of gelato eventually got the better of me and we took the plunge full time around a year ago, so far no regrets!
Can you think of any key challenges you had to overcome and how did you battle them to get to where you are?
We’ve had several problems with equipment failing at the last minute but we’ve found that everyone else in the industry is so willing to help that there’s never been a problem we’ve not been able to fix, there’s always someone willing to lend a hand when it literally feels like there’s no hope. Take as much advice from those in the business as you can.
What is the dream, or where would you like to see yourself in five or ten years?
I don’t see myself having a permanent parlour anywhere, ideally I’d love to have several bikes or vehicles so we can trade in multiple locations at one time. I love the freedom of cycling across London and bringing gelato to the streets or to a special event, it keeps it exciting & we get to meet so many different people. It’d be the dream to have a fleet of bikes abroad one day too, in Italy where our family are based or maybe the lovely beaches of Bali during our winter.
How do you find balancing lifestyle and downtime with your job?
To be honest, especially during the Summer, my job becomes my lifestyle, but we wouldn’t expect it any other way. It is a lot of hard graft at the beginning but we love it, it’s a very social job when you’re out serving the masses and it never really feels like work.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young spark looking to start their business, what would that be?
Make sure you have a solid business plan in place so you can be prepared financially and also logistically. And above all be prepared to work harder than you ever have before.
What has been your favourite event you have attended this month? If not month, this year?
We did a very fun event with KERB for a L’Oreal product launch, it was very colourful, live music and some incredibly stylish guests!
And finally, what do you think is the best part about being an upcoming, self-employed business owner right now?
There’s never a dull day, everyday brings a new challenge or opportunity and we love that we never know what’s round the corner.
Thank you so much for talking to us and telling us about your experiences! We can’t wait to hear all about what you get up to in the future and we’ll have to get some more of your delicious gelato!
Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges in the working world? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter!
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