• Sat. Aug 20th, 2022

Meet Mnandi Pantry Delights Co-founder Linda Headbush

ByStaff Reporter

Feb 4, 2022

South Africa has maintained a steady 57.8 out of 100 in the 10th annual Global Food Security Index (GFSI) amid the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The benchmarking tool was developed by Economist Impact and supported by a leading agricultural company, Corteva Agriscience.

Multi-award winning teacher and Mnandi Pantry Delights co-founder, Linda Headbush aims to take our customers on a pleasure trip on the consumption of our product and hence create a legacy of good food.

In an exclusive interview with Showbiz Scope, the Pretoria based entrepreneur revealed how her foodie mother-in-law Thandeka Marwanqa inspired her to sauce business Mnandi Pantry Delights, how can the public buy her and how her participation in AWE helped her as an entrepreneur.

What inspired you to start her Mnandi Pantry Delights?

Mnandi Pantry Delights was birthed from a sauce making skill that was transferred to me by my Mother-in-law.

Whenever she comes over for a visit when she prepares some food she would make some homemade sauce from scratch.

I was eager to learn this skill as it fascinated me how she makes her own sauce, not just sauce but insanely delicious sauce.

I picked up the skill and over the years I would make the sauce and give some to friends and colleagues and they wanted more.

End of March 2020 I decided to take the leap of faith by resigning from my eight-year-long teaching career and taking steps to do product development and testing through BICSA, a SEDA associate in the food technology sector.

The positive feedback we received from the sauces we were selling it boosted our confidence and a year later which is April this year we then decided to formally register the company as Mnandi Pantry Delights.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

I think my entrepreneurial journey started while I was in my teaching career because after sampling my sauces some friends would request more and they would pay for it.

I then started thinking what if I could start a sauce and sell it at retail. I shared this thought with my mother-in-law (Thandeka Marwanqa) who has been in the art business for decades and over the years after making what we deemed as our best sauce we would jokingly say “let’s take this sauce now to the shops, people need to taste this now.”

My business background is from seeing my grandmother and aunts and uncles trying their hand at business by selling some products around the neighbourhood to meet their financial needs at the time but none of them formally went into business.

Mothers-in-law/daughter-in-law in as business partnerships aren’t a common thing. In your situation, how does that work?

Our partnership is not really based on our personal relationship but it rather feeds off the skills that we both have and brings to the table to make the business successful.

Our personal relationship is great but we decided to focus on the things that would make the business grow and be sustainable as we want to create a generational legacy. We are therefore establishing an advisory board that will keep us accountable for the running of the business

Please share with us Mnandi Pantry Delights.

Mnandi Pantry Delights is a food manufacturing company aimed at providing pantry products that will elevate and enhance your food experience while taking your taste buds on a pleasure trip.

Where and how can the public buy Mnandi Pantry Delights?

Our products are available to order via our WhatsApp business number 062 943 9461, via Mnandi Pantry DelightsInstagram and Mnandi Pantry Delights pages where our catalogue and prices will be made available to a customer.

Our online/website is currently under construction but will be launched in the first quarter of 2022.

How has your participation in AWE helped you as an entrepreneur?

I personally believe in order to sustain something you need a combination of knowledge and skill and that is exactly what AWE offered to me. It had a good balance of theory and practical and which has made it easy to implement most of its teachings in our business and thus yielding positive results. I also look at the other participants as a strong network and AWE has been a perfect platform for one to see how their business fits into the “AWIEF business ecosystem.”

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to startup?

Business is like the three little pigs story. Different building materials/resources/opportunities will be presented to you but choose wisely, because like the three little pigs the wolf comes to every house.

Every business will have its storms but it is the building material you choose at the beginning that will determine if your business fails or not.

How has Covid 19 affected your business?

Since the business was started during the pandemic I would assume the pace of things would have been a little faster as this type of product works well when promoted in social gatherings which have been limited due to lockdown regulations but this season has pushed us to be innovative in our thinking.

Please share with us Mnandi Pantry Delights future plans.

The future is MNANDI ! We have two new products which are the Mnandi Jam Range and Mnandi Salt Range and the sampling batches are doing extremely well so we can’t wait to formally introduce them to the market.

Since we are operating in two provinces; Gauteng and Eastern Cape we plan to increase our footprint and also create employment with our distribution model.

We are also targeting eateries like restaurants, Shisha nyamas and fast food outlets so we can be part of their supplier list. We want to find our products where people meet and eat, and service them well while increasing the demand for the products.

We would love to enter the retail market in a unique way by having our customers requesting retail to #StockMnandiOnYourShelves. We are excited and ready to work our dream into reality.

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