Finding a niche in business is always the challenge, but in the case of Mozambican entrepreneur, Sofia Cassimo, she has found a wonderful niche in the private catering sector in the country. Her company, Sublime Special Events and Catering is both winning fans and influencing discerning palettes in the country.
What does your company do?
We are a concept catering company in Mozambique and one of the first businesses to bring these type of catering to Mozambique. Our differentiation comes from using 73% of local products, 100% local workforce, and always creating a menu with the client regarding the specific type of event being produced. We have 3 segments - a corporate one for seminars, board meetings, workshops, coffee breaks, business breakfasts, and brunches; a private segment for events held at our clients’ houses or a chosen trendy place - usually these events come with a theme; and last but not least, we created Triesse last year, a segment where we cater on a daily basis meals for people with specific needs, such as diabetics, cardiac disease, lactose intolerance, etc. We design the events with the clients and we offer through our partnerships a range of otherservices as decor, datashow, sound and music, marketing, chauffeurs, and butlers.
What inspired you to start your company?
I grew up in the middle of both my grandmas’ kitchens, and as a result, I have beenfortunate to benefit from two very different cultures. From my mom´s side, the Portuguese culture and influence, and on my father´s side, the Goan and Mozambican (from the north an island called quirimbas) and of course, also the influence of Southern Mozambique. I always liked different tastes and to try new things, and when I came back from studying abroad I found out that in Maputo when you wanted something different options were scarce, so I saw a market and business opportunity, especially since we have a lot of foreign people living and working here.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Our service is dedicated. I don’t take more than two events per day, and during the week our work scheme is highly detailed. I work with my team to ensure they live and breathe my vision for the company and that transcends into the way we deliver our services.
Tell us a little about your team
I’m the creative and general manager in the business. I have an events director and three people working in the hot kitchen. A pastry chef comes every 2 days. However, I seriously need a manager also - my events director is superb and many times helps me out when I’m overwhelmed, but I would like to have somebody bringing a new dynamic and fresh ideas to the team. Its my 2017 resolution!
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My late great grandfather was a businessman in the north of Mozambique selling textiles and other things, and the one from Portugal was in real estate. From that time onwards, the members of my family were all PhD´s, technicians and academics. Im the disruptor in the family.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I want to keep the business small, and I prefer to serve no more than 150 people each time so that the service is always dedicated and “sublime". But I want to open a concept restaurant where we can have pop-up events so that new chefs can come and show their work. Also I would like to create a brand of frozen desserts to be sold in supermarkets, and a brand of seasonings since I have the mix from Goa and Mozambique.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Accomplishing a challenge; making a difference in other people’s lives; and watching how they enjoy what I have provided.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Create a vision, hold that thought, breathe, and walk the walk in your business. That’s the difference you will be bringing to the market. And also believe in you - use your resources wisely, and don’t stress about what you don’t know you don’t need a business background to be a great entrepreneur. Remember, a great past doesn’t make a great future!
Source: Lionesses Of Africa