Six food entrepreneurs graduated from the third Makers’ Landing Food Lab Incubation Programme at a ceremony at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal market on Friday June 24.
The graduates, which run small food businesses, each received a certificate and a custom-made plate with the business name on, to mark the graduation from the programme.
The group participated in the five-month training programme, which offers opportunities to qualified start-ups and existing small food businesses that can show that they will benefit significantly from mentorship, training and affordable access to a licensed commercial kitchen space.
The programme combines online learning, classroom sessions, industry experts and use of the Makers Landing commercial kitchen. It focused on laying solid business foundations, providing entrepreneurs with tools for success, and working purposefully towards their business goals.
The Waterfront’s retail sales executive, Alex Kabalin, said the incubation programme, which started in 2021, was a result of the Waterfront wanting to create a more equal food and beverage ecosystem.
“We came up with a bold vision to build a sustainable and equitable ecosystem. Makers Landing is the first big step to getting to this vision. This programme is the hero of the space – space where we can take someone’s passion for cooking and turn it into business, and help them grow it and make it sustainable.”
He congratulated the incubatees and said the team looked forward to watching them grow.
The graduates were Afrobox’s Floyd Dhliwayo, from Hout Bay; Annie Kafuny, from Goodwood, who owns Shekinah Bake House; Ukutya’s owners Nabo Binase and Lipato Shogole from Summer Greens; Ever Peckish’s Vinasha Ramasamy and Kurvin Virahsawmy from Kenilworth; Indikaap’s Michele Mistry from Pinelands and Aneeqah Sadan from Ottery who owns The Cookie Merchant.
Ms Kafuny, who is a qualified pastry chef, bakes cakes with flavours from her home country of Congo. She said she learnt to bake after a cake she ordered for her daughter, Shekinah, was a disaster.
She said the programme wasn’t an easy one, but she learnt alot, especially with recipe costing, and how branding speaks to customers. She said her business was much more structured now.
Mr Dhliwayo, who is also a waiter, said he started his business with the aim of making traditional food accessible to everyone, and to give people affordable lunches in the form of hearty meals.
He said the programme had introduced him to like-minded people who helped him turn his vision into a sustainable business. “Since I’ve been a part of this programme I’ve been able to conceptualise a menu, cost it and create streamlined recipes. I’ve become a lot more efficient in the kitchen.”
Ms Binase said she and Mr Shogole started Ukutya as a movement – to introduce people to indigenous African foods.
She said they use foraging and African ingredients to create meals people like to eat.
“The progress that our business made within the programme had been massive.
“Our vision is clearer and we streamlined our processes. We now know what we are doing and how to move forward.”