By Ntombi Mhlongo
For young businesswoman Nonhlanhla ‘Nhlody’ Dlamini, a passion for cooking is what has made her become the proud owner of a fast-growing catering company in the country.
Her catering company, known as ‘Dinewithnhlody’ is less than two years old but is already becoming a big business as she now gets to prepare good meals for big companies and events.
With its growth, she has managed to hire other emaSwati who assist her in preparing the best meals for clients. She has over five young women who now work for the catering company.
In an interview with the Eswatini Financial Times, she explains that she likes to try different things which is why she also has other businesses on the side. Being one person who has no fear of starting something new, she decided that she cannot waste her cooking talent and decided to go big.
“I started the company in February 2022 when I decided to follow my passion for culinary arts. I love cooking and being creative in the kitchen. I started as a food enthusiast cooking for my family and friends and I would always get amazing compliments. I then decided to channel my passion and build my business after leaving my corporate job in December 2022 to focus on my business,” she says.
So far, she says she has been enjoying her new venture and is motivated by the compliments she receives from clients. Asked what she enjoys the most about her catering business she says preparing delicious dishes for her clients makes her feel good.
“I also like the fact that in this business I have to be creative so that the menus I prepare for my clients are unique. I get pleasure in also giving my clients excellent customer service and I always thrive to exceed my client’s expectations”.
All businesses do face challenges and Dlamini has does experience some bad moments. She explains that ever since she started the business, the huge escalation of prices of goods has been one of her biggest challenges as these have had a big impact on her cashflows.
These costs, she says, include the escalating cost of rental of premises, equipment, wages, and produce. She says finances do become a challenge especially since she has t have them readily available to meet the demand for her services.
The businesswoman has some words of advice for other women out there who want to venture into business. She says the first important thing is to start and make sure that one has a clear vision of the business and make sure everyone who works with them is on the same page.
“Secondly, be prepared to work hard and be self-sufficient, have plenty of initiative, be determined and resilient, be responsible, have a bit of imagination, and be prepared to ask for help when you need it,” Dlamini says.
Despite receiving a positive response from clients, she says she believes that she can do better and give her catering business full attention.
“I want to grow my brand to be one of the biggest businesses which offer clients great customer experience and amazing service in the food industry. I am also considering other amazing ventures in the near future,” she says with a smile.