When La Paleta’s Ami McDonald started out on a path of self-employment she was looking to fill a gap between gigs as a theatre designer with “something on the side” that would provide a stable income.
Just 18 months later she has had to turn down set-design work as her energy and passion have been consumed by her scrumptious hand-made Mexican artisan ice cream brand La Paleta, which Perth-ites everywhere have fallen in love with.
Ami’s creative flair has helped her creations as she’s taken traditional taste buds on a new food experience with flavours like cucumber and chilli and hibiscus flower.
If you are yet to be tantalised, consider creamy concoctions like toasted coconut and salted caramel and you’ll understand why foodies are queuing at farmers’ markets and then hunting down the few local stores that carry La Paleta for a mid-week fix.
Ami said that without the business training and mentoring provided by Business Foundations and funding by New Enterprise Incentive Scheme she would have struggled to keep up the rent and put food on the table in the first year of her start-up business.
Instead, she was able to put her business earnings back into La Paleta to help it to grow and today she has two employees, a new truck, freezers and moulds that have made production quicker, easier and cheaper, all the while retaining a premium hand-made product.
Ami said she had learnt to manage competition and remain focused on her own strengths and product.
Ami’s mantra today is one she picked up on a recent research visit to Mexico to undertake a master-class in paleta making: “The sun shines for everyone in business.”
Ami said advice in subject matters of which she had no knowledge, like finance and projections, had been invaluable and the NEIS program provided a constant reference point with access to Business Foundations’ business mentors.
Ami has no regrets that her “something on the side” idea has become a full time business venture. She’s been able to incorporate her love of design into her new field of work and her distinctive caravan that you will find at events around Perth is testament to that.
To find an outlet or event to taste test the passion that is La Paleta’s Mexican ice cream find them at www.facebook.com/ilovepaletas
Photography by Glen Weaver of Still love photography
Find out more about how Business Foundations can help you access the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme in WA.