Prof Rainer Trede
With the current lockdown, families in Namibia face new challenges. Children have to stay at home. No school or kindergarten to meet their friends, they cannot play soccer. It is boring not only for the kids but also for their families. Lucky parents still in employment may have to find new caretakers, or if they work from home cannot be fully productive being surrounded by unhappy family members. Even playing with the cellphone becomes monotonous and cannot satisfy them all day long.
One new solution are Jeno’s cupcakes or even cakes. If you offer your children for instance twice a day these unique products, they may wait for them without complaining. This does not only apply for the kids but for the whole family including the grandma or aunt living in your home. If Jeno’s products are offered at fixed times they may not only make your family happy but bring them together!
Jenoline Goagoses’ family had a tradition of home baking for decades and most of her sweetest memories and family recipes were shared in the kitchen. It is from there that she started baking for family birthdays and fun days after having completed grade 12 in 2008. Goagoses stated: “When people started tasting my baked essentials, they ordered cakes from me, which gave birth to the home business. Since I had little to no business experience, I soon went out of business and had to search for a job because of economical constrains. I joined the team at NICE Restaurant, a career that taught me customer service, how to identify customer demand. As this was a demanding career, I had little time for home baking but I took it upon myself to observe and try out new styles as NICE is a culinary institute und had an in-house training for students and for staff as well. I further developed my love for pastries. After the birth of my son, I soon realised that I had to bake cakes for my son’s milestones in life. This decision gave birth to Jeno’s Kitchen CC. I started baking for my community, kiddie’s birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers and any other occasions.”
Although the home business developed fairly well, she realised that she needs additional knowledge in business to extend her production and market outside her neighbourhood in Katutura. She applied for a unique training, coaching and mentoring programme conducted by Development Consultants for Southern Africa (Decosa) in cooperation with Team Namibia for SMEs in Katutura sponsored by the Finnish Embassy. She was selected as one of the 22 participants from more than 400 applicants for this programme which started in September 2017 and ended in November 2020. It covered basics for starting a business, preparation of business plans, marketing, business and financial management.
“From my trainer and mentor, Professor Trede, I learned not only how to run my business successfully but also the need to specialize in this competitive market, and how to mobilise new customers. I learnt not to be satisfied with the small income I made. Belief in growth, not stagnation must be the basis for development in Namibia,” enthused Goagoses.
Previously she produced a large variety similar to most competitors in Katutura including not only cakes but also muffins, sweet and savory pastries, hotdogs, curry bunnies and homemade smoothies.
Now she focuses on her real strengths, unique cupcakes and cakes. They distinguish her from her competitors in this cut-throat business. She uses the large variety based on tastes of indigenous fruits (e.g. Eembe, Mahuni and much more), lemons, blueberries, passion fruit, strawberries, and chocolate.
She also uses naturally grown fruits and an exceptionally attractive design based on the expectations of the customers (e.g. corporate events with company logos, birthdays and soccer balls).
Goagoses successfully penetrated new markets not only in Katutura but, all over Windhoek including families that have a higher income, larger companies and she caters even for foreign embassies.
She now focuses mainly on special events such as weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, funerals, graduations and corporate events.
“My business development is based on customer care, a good relation to suppliers and most important on the quality of my products characterized by fluffiness. The cake consistency should be fluffy and bouncy to the touch. Not too dry and not too wet as that would mean it is not baked properly. All my cupcakes feel like clouds. They have moistness. This links with the fluffiness. A cupcake that is soft and moist on the inside is perfect. Therefore, I incorporate curds and fillings into my cupcakes to give them an extra flare. The icing or topping needs to taste great and suit the type of cake. Depending on the type of icing, it should be soft or hard, or fluffy. Icing that tastes like nothing or overpowers the cake, is not the best. When you bite into it, my cupcake will melt in your mouth. The cake and the topping will go together perfectly and taste like heaven in your mouth. The finishing touches, like fresh fruit, edible flowers, or candy, brings it all together perfectly,” she said.
It has always been her overall aim to satisfy the customers, seeing them being happy. “This also makes me happy and to bring the people together. This is mainly possible by providing delicious food,” she said.
With the current lockdown most of her markets collapsed. However, happiness and bringing people together on small household level are still possible and now particularly required. People can request Jeno’s Kitchen for her offers, express their special wishes including design, and the cupcakes or cakes will be delivered directly to their homes.
Jenoline Goagoses can be contacted at Jeno’s Kitchen CC
081314 8129 or
*Prof Rainer Trede is the Managing Member of Development Consultants of Southern Africa (Decosa) CC, which for 20 years has been involved in SMEs training and mentorship in Namibia.
2020-04-23 09:57:03 | 3 months ago