Start me up: Anna Boletta and Natasha Dowse, co-founders of Minioti

Minioti was co-founded by Jersey mums, Anna Boletta and Natasha Dowse. We chat to them about premium ice cream and how they came up with a new, unique ice cream range.
optimized-natasha-dowse-and-anna-boletta-miniotiWhat exactly is your business and how does it help people?

Minioti is a family brand with healthy eating at the heart. We have just launched our first product – a range of no added sugar Jersey ice creams – with live cultures. There are currently three flavours – Strawberry, Vanilla and Milky Chocolate. Our ice creams have a USP in that they are made from 100% Jersey milk and cream from pedigree Jersey cows – providing more protein and calcium than other breeds of cow – and live cultures aimed at the whole family. We do not use refined sugar in our products, they are sweetened naturally with stevia.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

We are both passionate about nutrition – and eating healthily. As parents to small children, we really struggled to find healthier treats for them – yet we didn’t want to always be saying no. We imagined how great it would be if sweets, biscuits, cakes and ice creams were healthy food items for children and the whole family – with additional benefits. We couldn’t find any – so we decided to make our own! We took out Natasha’s ice cream maker and started to experiment, and the rest is history.

Is there anyone you look up to as a business? Who inspires you?

We look up to any new start-up business trying to work in innovative ways. Businesses that research movements, and use up to date knowledge to make progress in positive ways for consumers. We are inspired by other entrepreneurs pushing hard to get their businesses off the ground and into different markets around the world.

minioti-ice-cream-flavoursHow did your friends and family react to you starting a business?

Our closest family members and friends supported us 100% from the beginning and still do. There are always some individuals along the way who will cast doubt on what you are aiming for in business. We know the direction we are heading in, and that’s what matters.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

We have faced a wide variety of challenges in every area of our business, at different times. We overcame the challenges because of a 100% belief in our business and a passion to drive it forward. You have to be resilient to ride the highs and lows that can happen at times on a daily basis. Also having children can take you away from the biggest strains as you have to snap back into being a mum, and know when to try and put aside issues for a while.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

Be driven by what you believe in and the passion for your business. Intuition is very important – surround yourself with the right people from the beginning. Also don’t be fearful when it doesn’t go according to plan, as things can always turn a corner when you least expect them to. Remember to enjoy it as it’s exciting to see your ideas come to life in different ways. Business is also fantastic for meeting people from all walks of life. It’s definitely not boring!

What is the best advice you have been given or have read?

Our first investor mentored us and still does. For us, his words of ‘attention to detail’ have always stuck. We think this is very important. Not rushing too much on all decision making and paying attention to detail really helps us to do our jobs well.

Where do you expect to be in a year?

Established in the UK market and growing the export side with the contacts we have at present. We also want to develop our product range.