Studying to become a chef has enabled Nonjabulo Nzuza (35) to explore a variety of business opportunities, such as baking, running a coffee shop, offering baking classes and selling her own ready-to-mix cake brand called Easy Bakes.
The Pietermaritzburg-born Nzuza started Injabulo Foodworks (Pty) Ltd in 2015, after completing a Diploma in Catering and Hotel Management from the School of Fashion Design.
She was inspired to become a chef by watching cooking shows on television, reading food magazines and trying out recipes.
“I started my business baking muffins and cakes from my kitchen and sold them on the streets for people to enjoy. Most people were impressed with my carrot cake,” she says.
While business has not always been smooth, Nzuza has had more good days than bad ones. This encouraged her to keep going and she started receiving orders from regular customers, which helped the business grow. “I started looking for a place to rent in town, so that I could run my business from there,” she says.
She successfully applied for funding from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in 2019, and received R50 000. “This funding has expanded my business and I was able to permanently employ four people. The baking business has grown so much that it has given birth to a coffee shop called Café Tatham by Njabulo Foodworks,” says Nzuza.
Her business struggled a lot during 2020’s various lockdowns. “I had to think of ways of sustaining my business so that I could continue to earn an income. This is when the idea of a new product, called Easy Bakes, dawned on me. Easy Bakes is basically my recipes in a packet. They are loved by many people, across all nine provinces,” she says.
Nzuza has created six jobs for locals through Injabulo Foodworks and also offers baking classes. “I offer baking classes so that I can impart my skills to other people.”
Her products can be bought at Foodpak in Victoria and Kitchen and Stuff in Pietermaritzburg. They are also available at her coffee shop, which is located near the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. “We also use courier services to deliver our Easy Bakes products to clients across the country,” she says.
For more information about Nzuza and her business, connect with her on Facebook @InjabuloFoodworks.
For more information about NYDA funding, contact 087 158 6345 / 5738 / 4742 or email firstname.lastname@example.org