Dollas Journal entry 04

Dollas first birthday

As we were peeling potatoes the other day Dollas realized; hey, we are one year old! A year of try, try again, try harder, and try one more time. We kicked off by selling seasoning and wagashi at a boerewors braai in town. Now let me tell you about the wagashi learning curve.

I got home from work one day and Baby Dolla greeted me with a ‘bolletjie ding’ at the door. ‘Try this.’ she insisted with bright eyes. ‘You will never guess what it is made of, beans.’ Is the answer to my silent question.

‘Beans as in beans-beans, as in Koo beans?’ I take a bite. It is good, but my mind rebels: sweet beans, who came up with this?

‘It’s called Wagashi. It’s from Japan and Dollas is going to sell it.’

On boerewors braai day we quickly realised, pronunciation doesn’t matter. Wagashi. Wawhatnow. Wawatsit? Wawashi. Call it what you will. People assumed it was a made up hipster name. So we stopped using the name and simply called it a sweet from the east. We thought we were being oh so clever.

Where in the east? The answer evoked two responses. One: everyone mentioned the rugby game of the 2015 worldcup that all springbok supporters would rather forget. Japan 34 South Africa 32, ah, the pain. Two: sushi is also Japanese. People are divided on the sushi front, some think it the finest dining experience, while others are allergic to soy sauce or wasabi. These stances influenced their decisions regarding the sweet. We felt that rugby has got nothing to do with it, while soy sauce and wagashi are two separate things so we changed our pitch.

Rather not mention Japan. Let’s play the hipster angle. We are selling next generation sweets made of beans. Yes, Beans-beans.

But most South-Africans have bean memories. Every person older than fifty has told me horror stories of a discontinued bean-soup made in the seventies. Statistically one out of every hundred children made to eat it, liked it. The other ninety-nine has bean inspired nigtmares all the way into grandparenthood. And then there is Koo baked tomato beans. For some a joy on toast, for others last week before pay day fare.

Wagashi is a tricky sweet to sell. Dollas returned home from the boerewors braai with most of our stock. There was a few brave souls who bought it, but it seems Dollas was not destined to be a japanese beanpaste sweet seller.

But it has been a year of try, try again, try harder and one more time. The wagashi experience did not go to waste. Ma Dolla uses it for the base of our Vegan Ice Cream. Everything is a learning curve, all you have to do is march on. And here we are a year later pealing potatoes for a growing Vegan meal club. Happy Birthday Dollas!

Dollas To-do list for the day:

□ Peal potatoes

□ Throw together a veggie soup – this sentence make more sense in Afrikaans;)

□ Cook beans, as in beans-beans

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