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Ice Creams By Rei: Happiness in a cup

By Kusumanjalee Thilakarathna

This week in Little Stars’ spotlight is a 13-year-old entrepreneur who sells homemade ice cream as she believes in sharing the taste of what she loves the most with others. Although this young entrepreneur, Riya Hridayesh, started her venture Ice creams by Rei just a couple of months ago, she is already receiving excellent feedback from her happy customers.

Riya is very passionate about food and has very high standards for her cooking skills. Her parents say that she cooks for herself and her nine-year-old sister Diya almost all the time. She loves music, Korean pop, Japanese pop, as well as Chinese pop. She has a great sense of style very unique to herself. As her father describes her, Riya is very meticulous, focused, and responsible.

Here’s what she Riya shared with us.

To start off, tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Riya Hridayesh. I am 13 years old. I have a younger sister. Her name is Diya. I have two dogs – Buno and Benji – and also a bunny. I am a K-pop fan and I go to Stafford International School. My favourite subject is art.

I play the saxophone. I love styling and colouring my hair by myself. And I am good with my makeup too. I like the concept of making money. I am an animal lover.

We got to know that you have very high standards in cooking and you do it really well. Can you tell us your secret to cooking?

I don’t really have a secret to cooking. I just make sure my hygiene is good and the flavours I combine goes well with each other.

What is the best compliment you have received from your sister Diya?

The best and only compliment I received from her was when I made mac and cheese and it was really good. So I gave it to her for the rest of the week.

Tell us more about your sister.

Diya is very talkative and loud. She is a very friendly person, but she hits me a lot. She likes to play video games. Most importantly, she is the marketing manager of my ice cream shop. She takes the orders and handles the posts and requests we get on Instagram.

Most kids dislike healthy foods, saying those aren’t tasty. Do you think the same?

No. I don’t think the same. I think it depends on how you cook and what you are cooking.

Tell us the story behind Ice Creams By Rei?

My dad usually eats all the ice cream in the fridge, and he is diabetic. So he is not supposed to do that. One day he ate this milo ice cream I made and he asked me if I wanted to sell it. And I said “sure”, because I am not doing anything special these days due to online schooling. Within a day, he got me the stuff needed and just like that we started the business.

What should I do if I want to place an order for ice cream?

You can call on 077 3508894. Last week, we had our first four deliveries on Uber Eats. We will be available on PickMe Foods and quickee.lk from next week. You can also DM us on Facebook (Ice Creams By Rei) or Instagram (@icecreamsbyrei).

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur at a very young age?

Well, it’s just that I wanted to share my favourite food – ice cream – with other people.

Is there anyone who supports you in making ice cream?

Well, I make my own ice cream and my sister does all the marketing for the business. And my parents are the ones who buy me the things I need to make ice cream.

What comes to your mind when you hear ‘ice cream’?

Of course, my favourite food comes to my mind. My favourite food is ice cream.

You also have a special interest in music. Tell us what you like the best and why you like it.

My favourite kind of music is K-pop. But I also like Japanese pop and Chinese pop. I like them the most over English music because they are so good at dancing and performing. And they are very different in the way they produce music and the kind of music they produce.

Tell us about Bruno and Benji, and also a little bit about your bunny.

Bruno and Benji are both labradors. Bruno is five years old and Benji is four. Bruno is a boy and Benji is a girl. Our bunny is black and it’s still not even one year old. She is really naughty; she eats everything she can find.

Usually, adults think money is not something that should be handled by kids. Do you agree with that?

No, I don’t agree. Kids can also be very responsible and manage their money well.

Finally, can you give some tips to the readers who like to start cooking?

The most important thing is hygiene. It is also important to think about the flavours you are going to add. You might put too much seasoning and waste the food, or you can put too little seasoning and still waste the food. Not wasting and hygiene are key in cooking for me.