Fam Café founder, Mfanufikile Dlamini, started his business from the ground with nothing but his hands and love for food. His passion for creating delectable meals, desserts and exquisite cakes has resulted in a business that continues to do well in these trying times. Fam Café includes Fam Café Private Chefs & Company and the restaurant, Asanté by Fam Café.
Dlamini, who is from Meadowlands in Soweto, started his business in 2017. It is based in Helderkruin in Roodepoort, Johannesburg. Dlamini described Fam Café as a fun dining and pop-up restaurant. It employed 12 casual staff members who worked on rotation and were called in to serve different functions. The restaurant also hosted private dining and celebrations such as luncheons, birthdays, baby showers and year-end functions. Dlamini told Vutivi News he also operated a mobile kitchen that he used to cater for weddings, tombstone unveiling ceremonies, birthday parties and other events nationwide.
He said he started the business because food made people happy. “Every day people have to eat whether it’s morning, midday or evening. Every day and every weekend, someone is celebrating something, be it a birthday or an achievement of some sort,” Dlamini said. “These require food, a cake and drinks to go with. This is a thriving and sustainable sector for as long as humankind exists.” He studied Food Preparation and Cooking at Capsicum Culinary School.
“Going to school to pursue my formal studies really helped me understand the food business not only as a chef, but it also gave me the entrepreneurial platform to start, build and manage a restaurant or a hotel,” the foodie said. “After graduating from culinary school as a certified professional chef, I booked different venues wherein I invited friends and associates for lunch and an experience into what I call ‘fun dining’, which is a concept that seeks to take fine dining to a level where anyone and everyone can enjoy the best of foods in a relative manner that they are used to, giving it a homely feel and resemblance.”
Dlamini said that despite the mounting challenges in the hospitality sector due to lockdown, he was has been able to adapt quite well to the changes. “What I have done with Fam Café is to refocus energies into the post-lockdown era and start to share the business towards the new normal, including establishing concepts that are focused on minimum numbers on accommodation and service,” he explained.
“We have been bringing awareness to customers to insist on dining in clean and sanitised establishments that do not compromise on good hygiene practices,” Dlamini said that in the next few months, Fam Café would be working with culinary institutions in hiring apprentices and developing skills for aspiring and upcoming chefs.
“We will also be launching our B&B and spa in a few months’ time, which will also create a few more jobs,” he also said.