WHEN the country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Direshnee Thaver, who is from Shallcross, saw an opportunity to open an ice cream business, Diri’s Homemade Ice Cream.
Three years later, the ice cream is the talk of Durban.
Thaver graduated with a National Diploma in Clinical Technology from the Durban University of Technology and worked at Dr KB Parag’s Kidney Care Centre for 13 years.
She left in 2020. Covid-19 hit and so her story began.
While navigating the storms of life and everybody taking to the kitchen, she found a recipe for a home-made no-churn Oreo ice cream, which she made for her cousin’s birthday celebration. It was a hit with the family.
A few weeks later she found berries in the fridge and decided to experiment, making her first strawberry ice cream with berry coulis swirls with the help of her then 3-year-old.
That’s when Thaver decided to package her ice cream for sale as she needed a source of income. She also experimented with more flavours and ingredients, adding to the range.
“Packaging and branding was next. Help from family and friends was never far behind. And God, always God. I do not know where I would be without Him. And so my business took off.
“My passion for making my ice creams has grown. I just love creating these tubs of goodness. And experimenting with new flavours I find even more exciting.
“Good vibes and ice cream are our motto. I also love my music and it’s no surprise that my ice creams are aptly named after some of my favourite tracks, most of them oldies,” said Thaver.
On what sets her business apart from the rest, she said: “For one I do not use an ice cream maker. I physically hand-craft each flavour. That is why my ice creams are made to order and each batch takes a bit of time.
“I use the freshest and finest ingredients. There is no substitute. From Lindt mint dark intense to Callebaut dark chocolate chips to fresh fruits and nuts, I do not compromise.
“Chocolates are chopped, sauces are homemade on a double boiler, nuts are roasted and blended, ingredients are gently folded and then the ice creams are layered, sauces or coulis swirled through, and packaged (and that includes putting my branded labels on the tubs myself as well) and frozen to set for each and every customer according to their specific order.”
Thaver credits her customers for the success of her business.
“My customers for one thing, old and new. The response to Diri’s Homemade Ice Cream has been overwhelming. The positive reviews, the messages of encouragement, the likes, shares, and follows.
“In a world where you would think all is lost, there are truly amazing, kind souls out there. The love and support from family, friends and my pastor.
“My amazing daughter, says she is so proud of me for starting and making the most delicious ice cream in the world. I would also like to think that those loved and lost are also watching and guiding me and my lord and saviour Jesus Christ.” she said.
Thaver hopes to see the business evolve by being able to courier to places outside of Durban like the Midlands, Pietermaritzburg and even Johannesburg.
She said she would also like to supply restaurants and maybe even have her own fridges in stores and garages, especially in tourist destinations.
Her ice cream comes in one and two litres with one litres costing R110 and R130, depending on the flavour, and the two litres costing R200 and R240.
Thaver also stocks 100ml cups at R36 each or 6 x 100ml for R200, subject to availability.
The menu boasts flavours like Brown Eyed Girl (chocolate), Classic Man (vanilla and chocolate sauce), All You Need is Love (cookies and cream), Electric Feel (mint chip and her best seller) and The Peacemaker (burnt almond).