It wasn’t until Babe Masuge revisited an old idea, that she realised it was time to change tact. For Masuge, the long-forgotten idea of creating a range of chilli sauces spiced up her entrepreneurial spirit. Masuge told Vutivi News that the idea of making different sauces was always at the back of her mind. But instead she focused on other business ideas that she thought would work.
Masuge registered her first business, Babe Seloi Management Services, in 2006 and she started trading as a caterer. The Rustenburg resident said that her passion for cooking came from watching her mother cook. “I grew up in a very poor family, but my mother was so skilled in the kitchen that she would make magical dishes from the little that we had,” she said. Masuge said that with this passion in mind, she continued her business right up to when she was a finalist at the Kia Cookoff which took place in 2012.
However, that business failed, and she tried pursuing other business interests under the catering umbrella. It was in 2020 during the lockdown that she remembered that she had once wanted to make chilli sauce. “For me, 2020 was an eye opener because it forced me to look into myself,” she said. “I was sitting at home and was thinking of cooking or baking to earn a living when I remembered my hot idea. “I bought a few recipes, tried it out on my nephews until I got the taste that I wanted, and once I got what I wanted, I decided to produce the chilli.”
Today, her business trades as BSMS Chili House. Several of her products are SABS tested, and these include the pineapple chilli sauce, the harissa chilli sauce, and the chilli garlic oil. She also has Mzansi chilli sauce, sweet habanero sauce, chilli salt and Cajun seasoning. Masuge told Vutivi News that she started by selling her sauces to her friends, family and fellow church members.
“When I was satisfied that the response was positive, I introduced it to the rest of the community,” she said. “In a short space of time, I found myself getting orders from the whole province.” Masuge currently supplies her chilli sauces to customers across the country, delivering them via courier. And thanks to helping from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), she has been able to build her business more than she anticipated.
“SEDA is currently helping me with setting up an online store, and this will be very beneficial because I have more orders coming in on a daily basis,” she said. “The way things are looking right now, I believe that in a short space of time, I will be creating more jobs and operating from a bigger space.”