The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many challenges, but it has also been the driver of considerable innovation.
One such example of this is Adrian Hassette.
To his loved ones, the Chaguanas-based entrepreneur is just Adrian, but to his customers, he is the snow-cone man, the candy man, and the ice-cream man.
Hassette, 34, built a custom-made bicycle to sell his sweets.
In an interview with the Express Business recently, Hassette shared what prompted him to build the novelty sweet-treat machine.
He said, “I like being my own boss. Just being able to make my own money, and clock my own hours excited me to become an entrepreneur. I started off selling cotton candy for someone else in 2014. In 2017, I bought a second-hand machine and began making cotton candy for myself. Shortly after that, I began selling snow cones, lollies, cotton candy, and popcorn on a grocery trolley. Every morning I use to push the cart up and down the street through different neighbourhoods in Chaguanas. One day a guy saw me while I was doing this and gave me his old bicycle. I used parts of the bike and the grocery trolley to make it functional so I could ride around. I did this for about a year until I saw HADCO come out with their lolly bicycles. I, too, sold lollies on the bicycle contraption I made, and realised it could be done much better.”
Through a bit of experimenting and a few failed attempts, Hassette said, he finally found a way to sell his sweet treats.
Hassette said he saw merit in the HADCO bicycles as it provided him with a sturdy base, but it could not deliver on everything he wanted to sell, so he decided to customise it to suit his needs.
“It took me approximately two hours to build this contraption. I used PVC pipe and metal pipe to reinforce it, so it remains sturdy. The covering itself is just vinyl,” he said.
According to Hassette, it is the only prototype, so it is a bit rough in its execution. He plans on finalising the specifications on his mobile machine to make it just as amazing as his goodies.
The self-taught engineer enjoys making things with his hands. As a results-oriented person, Hassette says he is grateful he has seen more successes than failures with his innovative ideas.
Apart from making his own cotton candy, Hassette also creates flavour profiles for his snow cones.
“I do everything from scratch. I love using fresh ingredients. For my snow cones customers can get guava, passion fruit, and portugal. The cotton candy usually retails for $7, while the snowcone retails between $8 and $15, depending if you want a small, medium or large. There is no extra charge if you want milk. I also take note how much sugar goes into my syrups. I want it to be tasty, but never too sweet,” he said.
Coming from humble beginnings, Hassette said, he worked at a few dead-end jobs that did not make him feel fulfilled. While he collected a salary, he felt he could do more.
He said, “I made the decision to open up my business A and S Party Treats four years ago. It was the best move I ever made for myself. We do various events, especially children events, and we provide an array of goodies.”
While the pandemic has slowed down business, when you are passionate about what you do, nothing can stop you, Hassette said.