Walking into Jam Rolled Ice Cream in Dubai was like a childhood dream come true: who, in their childhood, didn’t dream someone would mix their favorite candy with ice cream? I for sure did! The person who makes this dream come true in Dubai is Saleha Khateeb, who calls herself “a product of the [Gulf] region.” A mother of three children, Khateeb has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, but she reinvented herself over the years and now runs a successful ice cream shop. She herself was the one to create a website for Jam Rolled Ice Cream, and she is also hands-on when it comes to gathering and analyzing customer feedback and insights online.
“Rolled ice cream” is a concept that originated in Thailand, and it started becoming popular all over the world after it hit New York. Khateeb’s business partner has brought this concept to Colombo and Maldives, and Jam Rolled Ice Cream is her first shop in Dubai. When we spoke to her in February 2019, it had been a little over eight months since Jam Rolled Ice Cream had opened. Khateeb says that Dubai is “extremely, extremely competitive,” but Jam Rolled Ice Cream managed to create a cozy, close-knit community of its own.
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Decided to create a website from the beginning
Khateeb stated that when she decided to open the store, she also knew that it had to have a website. When they were deciding on the name of the store back in 2017, she wanted to carry her brand name online as it was: jamrolledicecream.
She didn’t focus on how to actually create a website first; her exploration of online website building tools came in later. When she came across GoDaddy’s Website Builder, she wanted to test out the tool to see what kind of features it provided, whether or not it would be easy to use. She opted for the monthly renewal option, which she thinks is “brilliant,” and then decided to renew annually once she saw that Website Builder was what she was looking for.
Having been on the back-end of developing software due to her past experience, Khateeb has worked with GoDaddy since she was in school—she’s used GoDaddy products while she was setting up websites and looking for domains, and was “comfortable with GoDaddy.” Khateeb thinks that technology these days is moving very fast and it’s important to stay on top of it:
I think all businesses, especially small businesses, need to stay on top of technological developments to have a business aspect no matter what their business model module is.
With a website, Jam Rolled Ice Cream reaches a wider audience
Jam Rolled Ice Cream’s website currently uses GoDaddy’s domains and Websites + Marketing products. They update their website frequently, adding new information, new products and updates. According to Khateeb, there are different types of people in the world: those who are comfortable with using social media platforms to get in touch with brands, and those who prefer search engines to find what they’re looking for. Khateeb believes that being online and visible on search engines helps Jam Rolled Ice Cream cater to a larger audience.
It is your digital business card, so to speak. People who find it will say, “oh, they’ve got a website that’s running and functional.” [GoDaddy’s Website Builder] allows us to add images, change content very easily and publish it within sixty seconds. I deal with the website myself, and I haven’t run into any problems.
Jam Rolled Ice Cream have their phone number and address as well as other relevant information on their website including latest videos from events they attended, videos of how they make rolled ice cream, information on their products and company. Khateeb does believe that people appreciate them having a website and that there are people who come to the store after seeing it.
Should you create a website of your own?
According to Khateeb, yes; you should create a website of your own. She says small businesses should “absolutely go for it, create a website, and just give it a try.” Khateeb believes there is no harm in going at it, and that “it’s important to have that kind of personal stamp on the World Wide Web.” According to Khateeb, everyone is used to the “click-and-play” ease that the latest technology offers, and therefore “practically anyone with just an idea about what kind of website that want can create a website in about an hour.”
Khateeb mentions that GoDaddy’s Website Builder is easy-to-use and cost-effective. She had to call customer services once to get help, and thinks it’s an advantage that they’re available at different times of the day. In fact, GoDaddy offers help in Arabic as well through the Live Chat on the UAE website.
Khateeb repeats that Dubai is a very competitive city. She adds though that there is a lot going on in different industries, and people who are passionate, who do something they enjoy should do well in the city. When it comes to the Food and Beverages industry, on the other hand, Khateeb believes it has more of a “connection” with people than most other products do. She says that no matter where you come from, what your background might be, you might end up enjoying the same food. Stating that it is not easy to be a part of the Food and Beverages industry, but if you’re passionate about what you do and you get joy from it, there is no reason why you can’t be successful.