I’m Tondi Nengwenda, I own Designer Bites, which is a cake business. We do cakes— from cupcakes to wedding cakes. I can replicate almost anything you want done as a cake, for celebrations.
I have employed 3 people that are working at the shop. They are learning new skills. Some are already on advanced levels, and some are training others.
Our business has grown a lot over the past two years. Now I can clearly see that it’s sustainable, and it continues to grow. But the growth is a bit slow, even though I can see where it’s going.
Instagram: Designer Bites
Main activity: Small business ownership, cakes and pastries
Focus area: Economic development, skill development
What motivates me is seeing repeat customers…it gives me courage and it shows me that I’m doing something right.Tondi
My current challenge is money. There’s a lot I could do if I had more investment. I could acquire a lot of things that could ease up the job in the shop. Some things are being done manually, and we could use one or two machines to help with more efficient production. We need a big oven–maybe a deck oven which can hold about 6 trays. The oven will help us produce more because sometimes people are there wanting to buy scones. Scones move like nobody’s business. So people come, wanting to buy scones, and we don’t have enough, because we don’t have the resources.
What motivates me is seeing repeat customers. People who have bought before, when they post on social media or when they come again to order again, it gives me courage and it shows me that I’m doing something right. Also, seeing that I was able to keep the staff there, even though it’s challenging. It’s a very challenging job, but they are there and they’re willing to learn. So that really encourages me every day.
I see opportunities for growth because these days, people celebrate everything. It’s not only birthdays. I think very soon we’re going to have cakes going to funerals. I think that’s the only thing that I’ve not seen. But I’ve seen cakes for everything, like a cake to celebrate somebody who left and came back. So I see very big opportunities for growth. Even with companies—I’m doing Christmas cakes for Dell. Instead of buying key rings and stuff like that, sometimes they prefer to give people cupcakes or a cake. Christmas cakes stay for months without going stale, so people are preferring to buy such items. So corporates are buying, but I feel like I need to be known out there so that more corporates can buy from us.
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