By: Tebogo Mokwena
Boitumelo Mokokosi-Lehave started off her career as a chef after her close friends encouraged her to do so. And now she has set herself apart from other chefs by introducing beautiful locally manufactured pots that are sold under her Tumielovie the Chef brand, as she is known. Mokokosi-Lehave told Vutivi News said that she was accustomed to cooking for her friends in Tshwane when she had them over.
Their love for her food encouraged her to start a business, and in 2021 it became a reality after her friends pitched in financially to get her business off the ground. Tumielovie The Chef soon started hosting events and cooking for her guests. “For my first event I cooked a three-course meal and served the meal with wine, and I did that for quite a while,” she said. “As much as I enjoyed being a chef, I felt like I was just doing what other chefs were doing.
“I wanted to look for something different while still staying as a chef, and I wanted something that would not require me to spend a lot of time on as I have a full-time job and the demand for my cooking had started to grow rapidly.” After doing some research, Mokokosi-Lehave came across the idea of selling pots that were made with borosilicate glass. Borosilicate glass is heat resistant and works on gas stoves, normal stoves, and an open fire. It also works on induction stoves when coupled with an induction adapter or a heat diffuser.
Once she had concluded her research and drafted a proposal, she approached her husband for funding. She combined the money that she received from her husband with her savings and started the process of manufacturing the pots through a manufacturer. “I work with a company that manufactures borosilicate pots, and they brand my pots during the manufacturing process,” Mokokosi-Lehave said.
“This is important because I have had instances where customers approached me and asked me to remove the brand name on the pots, thinking that these were just stickers. Currently, she sells 1.3 litre and two litre pots but plans on making more sizes. She also sells double-walled glasses, coffee cups, cognac glasses, champagne glasses and glass baskets across South Africa, and other countries including Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Mokokosi-Lehave wants to expand her business overseas. She has already had orders from the United Kingdom and Poland. “My other dream is to see myself opening a shop in Menlyn Mall and in other malls across the country too,” she also said.