For the past eight months they have been offering Barbadians the best of both worlds – cakes and fruits in a cup.
Started in November last year by long-time friends Kara Holder and Rechanna Carrington, Cup It!!!! has been servicing up a variety of delicious cheesecake and cake cups with various toppings, parfait cups, fruits cups, salad cups, smoothie cups and candy cups.
Holder, 35, told Today’s BUSINESS that while she had the idea for Cup It!!!! five years ago, it was not until last year when the COVID-19 pandemic struck that she decided the time to introduce it was right.
“The truth is that it came out of COVID. We were looking for some residual income. Cup It!!!! is basically anything edible that we could place into a cup,” declared Holder.
Holder, who describes herself as an entrepreneur at heart, said she was always looking for something fresh to do over the years but simply could not settle until last November when she approached Carrington and they launched the business.
“It was an idea that I had five years ago . . . but nothing before its time. I don’t think it would have been fruitful if I didn’t have Rechanna.
So we came together and we both put into the business and it is what it is now. We are equal partners,” said Holder.
“I dabbled in various other things – making drinks, plaiting hair, I do cheese cakes from time to time – but this was always something on my mind. So one day I took it to her and she absolutely loved it and we both went for it,” she added.
After a few trial and errors, Holder and Carrington settled on the current offerings. Cup It!!!! is currently sold at the BARVEN market along the Mighty Grynner Highway, at the Sol service station in Redmans, and in the canteen of the Supreme Court.
Holder, a mother of two, is currently working with the business full-time while Carrington, a mother of one, has another job.
Declaring that they did not work eight hours but instead 24 hours, the duo told TODAY’s BUSINESS they did not mind the “long days” because there was a “bigger picture” that they were working towards.
“We do want to leave something for the children.We don’t want for them to have to start over. So we continue to push with them in mind,” declared Holder.
She said it was her intention for a Cup It!!!! to be in every parish across the island.
“We also want to be able to give job opportunities for the youth as well. It is really hard for persons. Due to lack of jobs at this time I find that people are getting desperate. So I would like to create jobs and help with the economy,” said Holder.
The business partners, who first met at the West Terrace Primary School, said over the past few months they have encountered several minor stumbling blocks, but quickly pointed out that they were not prepared to be deterred from pressing on with their business.
They both attended the Ellerslie School before taking somewhat of a different path. While Holder studied hospitality at the Reemac Hospitality Training and Development Centre, Carrington attended the Barbados Community College before going on to the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus where she studied management.
Recalling that the first few months were challenging, Carrington, 34, said she would advise anyone seeking to start a business to “just go for it and never give up”.
“It was a bit challenging for us, but then it started to pick up because we did what we had to do to get it out there. So, on Saturdays we would go around selling so that people would get familiar with us and we could get a wider customer base. Right now, it is going good,” said Carrington.
“I didn’t even realise that it would be this hard but we do see results so it feels that much better when you know you put in the effort and the work and see the type of results that we get.
So don’t give up. It is going to be a bit difficult at first but just keep at it. Keep pushing,” she advised.
“You have to take a leap of faith and be strong enough mentally. You don’t have to do everything one time, it is bit by bit.
That is how it worked for us. If you are looking for perfection, that is just an excuse to execute. You are not going to get it perfect all the way. So just start,” added Holder.
The duo said the most rewarding thing for them so far has been the reception from customers and getting their products sold in several places across the island.
They want to see more locations across the country similar to Worthing Square, where entrepreneurs can have the opportunity to sell their products and services.