She started her foray into business with a dating agency, which she soon followed up with a mobile bin business, which was inspired by the realities of driving around with her then infant son. That was followed by a domestic worker placement operation, for which she lost the passion and enthusiasm three years on. All these business ventures were established between 2007 and 2015.
Fast forward to 2016, Vhongani Shumba has finally found her “match” in business after establishing a flavoured butter business, mi butter. What differentiates her butter from the usual types is that hers is mixed with herbs, garlic, sea salt & black pepper, honey & cinnamon, baco, chilli pepper and other flavours. She sells 10 types of her flavoured butter.
Mi butter comes in different flavours, such as –sea salt & blackpepper, lemon & blackpepper, Himalayan crystal clear salt & blackpepper and others Shumba said as someone who was passionate about cooking, the idea of setting up her business came while she was watching a cooking programme on the small screen, where she heard the presenter say you could mix butter with other flavours if you like.
“I was taken when I heard that. I later decided to start experimenting, I always grow herbs. I tried it, it blended nicely. I then experimented with different types,” she explained. “You can do practically anything with our butter. You can use it conventionally as a spread, you can use it to cook or grill. Someone recently sent me a video, where she had used it as a sauce,” Shumba added.
Shumba hails from Limpopo, but is based in Gauteng because of work commitments. When she first started, her flavoured butter was available in Gauteng only, where she also made deliveries, but it is now available countrywide, as she has partnered with a distributing company.
For now, this is just her side hustle, as she still holds down a full-time marketing job in one of the state agencies. As the business grows, she hopes to focus on it fulltime by the end of next year. On her expansion plans, Shumba said: “It’s my wish to one day to have an outlet in a mall, where you can just come to buy your flavoured butter. I also wish to be available in other African countries one day, since we are already getting enquiries from countries such as Angola, Botswana, Tanzania and Lesotho.”
For now she relies on her sister and son to assist when there is a flurry of orders. A 260g bottles of the flavoured butter retails for R80.
This article was first published by www.umbele.likhanyiletm.co.za