In the midst of extreme boredom during the Covid-19 lockdown last year, a Cape Town couple decided life was too short to drink boring drinks, and came up with South Africa’s first glitter bombs to add some sparkle.
What started out as gifts to a few friends became orders from strangers, and 12 months later, Gary and Helena Willicott and their ‘Kinda Different’ glitter bombs have grown into a business employing six people full-time.
“We produce glitter bombs in 36 different flavours in 20 colours which release shimmer, sparkle and flavour once dissolved in any drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, from gin to coffee,” Gary said.
Flavours include watermelon, litchi, apple, citrus, chocolate, chilli and lime, banana, fudge, marshmallow and liquorice, combined with colours such as gold, pink, blue, emerald green and shimmering black.
“Within a couple of weeks we bought our first industrial machine and moved the production from the back of the kitchen to a factory setup.” In November, they moved into larger factory premises.
“As our glitter bombs became more popular, we received enquiries asking if we could make normal candy floss, so now we have a range of 40 flavours. The flavour intensity is half that of the glitter bombs and comes in a range of non-boring colours and flavours like chilli and lime, espresso, white chocolate, fireballs, banana, and for those that still love original, bubble-gum, cream soda, strawberry.”
The couple searched far, long and hard to find the glitter and flavouring and says their products have been laboratory tested and are completely safe for human consumption. “Kinda Different is not only halal and kosher but all ingredients used in the glitter are FDA approved,” Gary said.
“We have been amazed by the interest in the product and how many people are raving about glitter bombs. We want to add a little sweetness and sparkle wherever our products go.”
The idea of creating jobs in South Africa “to be part of the solution” appealed to the couple. “The name Kinda Different it stood out, as we live in a country with so many different cultures, languages, tastes. We wanted to try and be able to cater across the board, from young to old, drinkers to non-drinkers and ensure that we have something for everyone, which is why our range is so wide,” Helena said.
Gary, who is British, and Helena, who is South African, met in South Africa, got married, adopted a Tswana daughter, and then had two biological sons. “So we consider ourselves a ‘kinda different’ family,” laughed Gary.