When three friends from Mdantsane went into the food industry business, they decided to come up with something unique, and identified food preparation as their specialisation which led to them starting a company called Street Chefs from their own pockets three and half years ago. ECN spoke to one of the owners Mangaliso Madubela, to find out about what the business is all about.
ECN: What is Street Chefs and what do you do?
MM: Street Chefs is a small medium enterprise which was founded by Mangaliso Madubela, Mfuneko Mtshewu and Vuyani Nkinkqa in 2014, because we identified an opportunity in the space of food preparation industry and saw the need for this specialised service. As equal partners and to guarantee the smooth running of the business each of us has his own function, like I focus mainly on business development, Mfuneko is a chef and does marketing and promtions, while Vuyani specialises on creativity. Our speciality is outdoor cooking like potjiekos, spitbraai, fishbraai and other services on the customer’s request.
ECN: Was it difficult to get clients to use your services, as I said its unique and having asked that who are your clients, and how do you market what you do?
MM: The advantage of this province is that on most weekends there are traditional functions, and we use them to promote our business because most people attend these gatherings. Again we make use of social media and word of mouth which helps us a lot to become the brand we are today. Now we count corporate companies and individual businesses like Fanas Group in the Buffalo City area as our clients, we also do events management as well.
ECN: Every business has its own ups and downs, how has the journey been since you started?
MM: Pricing has always been an issue with clients, they do not understand the hard work that goes into doing what we do, we always pay attention to detail and the ingredients we use put us above the rest.
ECN: Lastly where do you see your business going forward?
MM: The future looks bright for the business, and we have many plans so as to make sure that it grows, we are planning to have our own restaurants where we can host events, and where we will be able to choose what to prepare for clients not the other way around. This will also give us an opportunity to franchise the brand, and include other local traditional dishes from different places countrywide and eventually from Africa as a whole.