Many young people find it difficult to convince their parents that their dreams are worth it, and this is the mountain that Fiona Chibi had to climb.
However, due to her refusal to give up, she proved to her parents that an unconventional dream was worth it.
After selling her first doughnuts in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, her life became much sweeter.
The 27-year-old now owns Delicious Doughnuts, which was established after an unusual request from a family member in 2019.
But her company was the result of unpleasant circumstances.
“When I was in high school my dream was to become a fashion designer. I approached my parents and told them I wanted to study fashion designing in Gauteng… they told me that fashion school was too expensive and too far,” she told Vutivi News.
“I was encouraged to follow a career in mining, since Emalahleni is a mining town. I decided to study Human Resources, but I had to drop out due to a lack of funds.”
Chibi then got a job in the retail sector, but she was retrenched in 2019 and had no income.
However, a conversation with her nephew changed her life.
“My nephew, who is a qualified chef, came to me and asked me to help him with a school assignment that required him to make doughnuts,” she said.
“After I made my first batch and realised that I had a knack for it, I decided to try making doughnuts for a living.”
When Chibi made her first doughnuts, she sold them at a cheaper price. But she was unsatisfied with the product.
“Even though a lot of people were buying and supporting the business because I was the first to open a doughnut… business, I was not satisfied,” she said.
“I was using magwinya dough and I discovered that the doughnuts would harden after only a few hours of being purchased. I decided that I had to return to the drawing board.”
But to the surprise of many, to get her recipe right, she decided to close shop.
“This was one of the best decisions I made for my business,” she explained.
Chibi improved her recipe, which included it staying fresh for at least 24 hours.
“I started researching during lockdown, and I spent hours perfecting my dough until I got the right recipe. While I was trying to reinvent my style, many of my customers would come to me and ask me why I was not operating,” she said.
“They did not care about my excuses; they just wanted me to start selling again. However, when they tasted my new doughnuts, they went nuts.”
Chibi uses products from Cadbury for her toppings and makes her own icing which includes plenty of cocoa.
“People love the Oreo-flavoured doughnuts,” she said.
She dreams of having her own bakery one day and franchising her brand across the country.
“I wanted to prove to my parents that however unconventional my dreams are, I will always strive to succeed,” she said.
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