Martina Molebale: Smoothly Fills A Gap In The Market

It was while hanging out on the popular Tsweu street in Mamelodi that Martina Molebale realized that there was a gap in the market. “It [Tsweu] has everything from salons, restaurant, pharmacy, funeral parlours etc and all it was missing was smoothie business to cater for everyone from kids to health-conscious adults and gym fanatics,” says Molebale.

That was the birth of Tinaz smoothies in 2019.

Molebale shared the idea with a friend who also owns a business on the busy Tsweu street, who offered Molebale space to sell outside his salon. “So, every Saturday and Sunday I would go have my small table, a chair and blender and have my own working station, more like my own mini market,” Molebale tells Spot-On.

Molebale makes, packages and sells the smoothies to her community in Mamelodi, Pretoria and currently works from home and does everything per order. “It takes me 2 to 3 minutes to make a smoothie depending on the blender I use. I buy bottles, I sterilize, I blend and do my own packaging.”

The Entrepreneur: Martina Molebale. Photo supplied

“To make my smoothies I use fresh or frozen fruits, yogurt, juice, protein shakes as per request and a bit of syrup.”

Tinaz Smoothies does make deliveries, but Molebale would like to see her product on store shelves. “For them to be in stores they have to first be SABS approved, still working on getting funds to get the product tested,” says the businesswoman. The smoothies are enjoyed by both adults and children, as they are a healthier option than ice-cream or fizzy beverages.

“I believe it is a healthier choice, considering some people don’t really enjoy fruits and vegies but a smoothie becomes a better option, and you can get most of the nutrients the body needs. And also, smoothie becomes a better option if you are the type that does not like breakfast in the morning some people prefer grabbing a smoothie instead of a heavy breakfast.”

Despite the success, Molebale admits that there are obstacles that she still comes up against. “Some fruits are seasonal, and people have preferences (they eat that, don’t eat that). Finance management, growing the business, marketing the product and delivery,” she says.

“Like any business it has its ups and downs…there are good days and bad days. Sometimes I go on for a week or 2 without any orders. I am currently unemployed, and I can’t afford to buy in bulk because I don’t have storage I still work home,” says Molebale.

Tinaz Smoothies doesn’t have any employees. “I am currently working alone but I do believe the business has a potential of creating employment. I can have my own little smoothie bar and maybe one day have a factory to produce bigger batches. Unfortunately, at the moment I am just a small fish in a pond.”

Ice-Cold Smoothie: Tinaz Smoothies. Photo supplied

“In a few years I would like to see my product in retail stores having my own smoothie bar like Kauai in my township, but my biggest dream is to be part of a feeding scheme especially in schools and old age Homes. I know the government plays its role in feeding schemes, I would also like to makes a difference in people’s lives. Just Like Martin Luther King I also have a dream…but that dream can only become a reality possible with funding.”

Using her creativity, Molebale has begun diversifying her business. “I have recently started selling biltong too and I believe for some reason biltong and smoothie somehow go together. I am also a part time DJ of Soul and Rn’B. But Deejaying is more of a passion than a career. I play only when I am booked.”