Last box of sought-after Little Moons ice creams auctioned by Highland shop owner for Special Needs Action Project charity close to her heart
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A box of sought-after ice creams has been snapped up for £50 – almost 10 times the retail price – in a charity fundraising auction.
Kasia Pogo, who owns Saffron Oriental Food Shop in Lombard Street, invited bids for her last box of Little Moons whose sales have surged in the UK after going viral on social media.
The money raised, along with additional donations, was used to buy much-needed craft materials and stationery as well as other items for the Special Needs Action Project (Snap) which helps to improve the lives of children and young adults with additional support needs in the Inverness area.
Miss Pogo said Little Moons – a combination of traditional Japanese rice cake, mochi and ice cream – have become incredibly popular with millions of TikTok users, who have been sharing videos of people eating and buying the snacks.
Her most recent delivery of 50 boxes – which retail at £5.95 each – was snapped up by fans within half an hour.
"I had one box left – mango flavour – and decided to auction it and get a bit of money for Snap," she said.
"It is an absolutely amazing charity. They give so much support to the kids and their families and they have been struggling for funds in the last couple of years."
The successful bid was put in by a buyer who wished to remain anonymous, but bought the box for her niece.
Little Moons was launched by brother and sister Howard and Vivien Wong in 2010 to bring Japanese mochi to the world, but they sought to increase its popularity by combining it with ice cream.
"They are delicious," Miss Pogo said.
"I think there are about 15 different flavours as well as vegan and gluten-free ranges."
Demand has been so high for them that she limited customers to one box each following the last delivery.
Miss Pogo’s shop was previously in the Victorian Market but she had to relocate last year as the building is undergoing a major refurbishment.
She has also had to contend with the impact of the pandemic.
"It has been very tough," she said. "I had to move one month before the first lockdown. I have managed to stay open because I am a food shop, but it is very challenging."
Many of her customers are scattered across the north of Scotland and the islands.
"Some have not been to Inverness for over a year," she said.
"But I am very grateful – I have a lot of support from customers and they have lifted my spirits through very difficult times."