By Prudence Minayo
Winnie Angaya is the founder of Her Kitchn, a specialty sauce company whose product range include homemade Hot n Sweet Chili, Nyama Choma Sauce, Garlic, Ginger, Ginger and Garlic, Pizza Sauce, and Mbuzi Choma Sauce. The business was conceived when the then jobless Ms Winnie was making a pasta sauce. Having left employment and failed at two business ventures, she had found an outlet for her misery in cooking. It was during one of her cooking escapades, that she experienced a eureka moment that led to the birth of Her Kitchn.
Here is her story as told by WoK.
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Quitting Employment To Venture Into Fashion
Tired of the daily routine in employment, she quit her job with a local bank. She always had a passion for fashion and with her savings embarked on opening a fashion business. She was in for a rude reawakening.
“After I quit my bank job, I invested all my savings in a fashion business, but it failed miserably. I had chosen a bad business model and made very bad decisions,” she told The Standard.
One of her undoing was that instead of employing permanent workers, she contracted tailors to make made to measure outfits. When the business went under, she fell into depression and had no money. One thing she was sure of, however, was that she didn’t want to go back to employment.
Tomato Business Failure
One day a friend who had also resigned called her with a business idea. The idea was buying tomatoes then selling them for a profit.
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They bought their first batch of tomatoes in Kagio market in Kirinyaga and started selling them along the Eastern Bypass. They targeted the many nyama choma joints in the area. The business did so well and the profit margins were high. They went on to open an outlet in Kitengela. Unfortunately, the business came crashing down when her friend decided to quit the business. They had been using the friend’s car for transportation and when she quit things became hard for Winnie. The margins became so bad that she ended up closing the venture.
The Big Break
The jagged pain that came with failure was so great and she found solace in cooking. She loved cooking and had been doing it since she was eight-years-old. In October 2016, Winnie Angaya made pasta sauce using onions, tomatoes and a blend of spices. As she enjoyed the meal, an idea ignited in her mind. She decided to make more of the sauce, package it and sell it.
At the time, she only had Sh1000 between her and poverty. She went and bought a number of tins for Sh800 and onions and tomatoes for Sh150. She made her first batch of the sauce and packages them in the jars, selling it at Sh350 each to former colleagues. She continued making and selling the sauce and in 2017 was advised to go to Kenya Industrial Research and Development institute (KIRDI). She spent Sh10,000 and received two weeks of business support, guidance on ingredients and advice about the market. At KIRDI, she learnt to process sauces and market them professionally and efficiently.
In February 2017, she registered Her Kitchn as a private company and later got certified by the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
In 2019, Winnie Angaya business got a major boost when she started supplying her products to Chandarana Supermarkets. Today, the spices can be found in a number of stores including Naivas, QuickMart, Marketways Supermarket, SpringValley Supermarket, Gilani Butchery, Prime Cut butchery, Fava Herb Shop, and Shamba Cafe in Loresho. In 2021, they set up a kitchen to produce the sauces and currently they sell both through online delivery and a pickup station at Imenti House.
On 5th May 2022, the company became ISO-certified.
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