Nov 2023 1st Edition

Youngster hits sweet spot with her low-sugar candy business

Written by Gabisile Ngcobo

A food technologist who started experimenting with ingredients in her kitchen to make treats for the little ones in her family is now the owner of a low-sugar bespoke lollipop business.  

Karabo Makhetha Masola, 25, of Alberton in Johannesburg had a promising career as a quality technician at a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company  when the idea to create unique lollipops was sparked. 

“I always had an interest in new development and research and the interns would share some of the exciting products they were working on. At one point, they were making wine gums and it’s something that intrigued me. I conversed with their manager and asked how they made them,” Masola recalled, who started making her own sweets in 2020.

She loves children and has a lot of nephews and nieces who often visit her place for sleepovers.

“I thought it would be nice to make them sweets. I started making wine gums but instead of achieving the texture I ended up with something more similar to hard candy,” she said. 

Masola, who studied Food Science at the University of Stellenbosch, kept trying to improve and kept going back to the manager to rate her product.  Encouraged by her passion and drive, the manager eventually gave her the go-ahead to use the raw materials from the lab as she worked tirelessly on perfecting her craft. 

“At that point, it wasn’t a business idea until he finally said, ‘This is a lollipop’,” she recalled.Candy business

She gradually started her company called CandyCandy, and asked her aunt to sell her treats in her tuckshop in Soweto.

Her husband and brother-in-law also came on board and marketed the sweets in townships. That is when she started creating personalised lollipops using edible markers.

“I had to learn social media marketing, customer avatar, running adverts and fulfilling orders from all over South Africa. It was overwhelming,” she said. 

Masola’s clientele was growing and she had to quit her day job last year. Her lollipops can now also be ordered on Takealot.

She still runs her business from home but now has an employee and also gets help from her husband. She is also passionate about educating parents about how sugar affects children’s health and development.

The entrepreneur now dreams of opening a factory and a candy school one day to benefit her community.

You can contact CandyCandy on WhatsApp: 081 703 4550 or Instagram: @yourlollipopfairy (CandyCandy).

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