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They say that to build a successful business, you should start with your specialist skills, passion and knowledge, and harness those as the basis for a business that can grow. This is an approach being taken to the full by the talented Chef Naledi, a South African private chef and culinary instructor who is now helping others to build their knowledge and experience of cooking at home.

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What does your company do?

As Chef Naledi, I am a private chef and cooking instructor. I specialize in private chef services for intimate events, as well as offering cooking classes primarily to domestic workers. In addition to this, I also offer group cooking classes for small events such as baby and bridal showers.

What inspired you to start your company?

A lot of women nowadays are busy but have a lot of hats that they wear. They are either career women or business women, mothers, and wives, or all of those roles. I am one of them and my friends too. Their days are always hectic but at the end of the day they need to ensure that their families are well fed. Not only do they worry about dinner preparation, but they also have to worry about the children’s lunch boxes. I decided to train my domestic worker during the first 2 weeks after she started working. This was in 2013. As I was training her, I realized that she was not only enjoying learning new cooking skills, but she was fulfilled as well. This proved to me that my family and I are not the only ones gaining from this approach, but the domestic worker as well. I was empowering her, on the job. She gained more confidence and started exploring new cooking techniques and recipes on her own. This inspired me to start providing cooking lessons as part of my business. I realized that it’s not that domestic workers do not enjoy cooking, rather that they do not have the basic knowledge nor the confidence to explore and prepare healthy well balanced meals.

What appealed more to my clients was the fact that I could conduct these lessons in the comfort of their own homes. They did not have to worry about getting their domestic worker to a training centre or culinary studio to learn these new cooking skills. In addition to this, I use utensils that are already at their disposal in their own kitchens. This means that the client will not necessarily have to go out and purchase new utensils or fancy gadgets. This also allows the domestic worker to cook similar meals for her family during her holidays.

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