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Anyone who loves cooking understands how crucial it is to get great ingredients for the pantry, particularly when it comes to spicing up favourite dishes. Passionate and talented home cook Rozanne Collings took her love of spice and turned it into a business that is inspiring other cooks who appreciate the culinary power of the chilli. Her new chilli paste brand Chillalas is livening up kitchens and meals across South Africa.

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What does your company do?

At Chillalas, we produce fresh, home-made and healthy chilli paste.

What inspired you to start your company?

I love being in the kitchen, cooking for family and friends, but never really considered it as a means to an end. However, after I resigned from my corporate job to pursue my passion to work in the field of social development, I found myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen while trying to navigate this new way of living. The chilli paste recipe was originally given to my by a good friend, who is an amazing cook. Because I have little girls and my husband and I love to spice up our meals, having something handy in the fridge to add to our meals is how it all began. I played around with the recipe until I found the perfect taste and flavour. Friends and family loved it too and so my husband began encouraging me to make it commercially so we could sell it …. and that in essence is how it all started and the Chillalas business and brand was born.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

Because it is healthy. I use very little oil and add coconut oil for flavour and nutritional value. The Chillalas chilli paste is extremely versatile and can be used as a condiment or as part of your ingredients when making curry, pasta and gourmet sandwiches.

Tell us a little about your team

Our team currently consists of myself (the cook), my husband (the financial guru), my brother and my sister in-law (my sales reps)

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

I am very new to this game - in fact, only about four months into it. The biggest struggle has been the change in mindset. Unlearning what was entrenched from early childhood (zero entrepreneurial background), to learning and experiencing a newness in thinking and doing that is so freeing. Yes, I sometimes miss my monthly salary, but by no means does it have me yearning to go back to the corporate world. I am enjoying the freedom, and the ability to see how much potential and capacity I have and can acquire to reach my dreams, while being a great mom and wife to my family. Absolutely loving every moment, even the sleepless nights :)

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

My plans for the business are firstly, to build a very strong foundation. Then move toward establishing ourselves in the marketplace, and within a couple of years to go global.

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

The ability to structure my days in a way that ensures I take care of my kids and have time to develop myself and work on my dreams.

What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?

Don’t listen to logic. If you know that there is more to you than your 9-5, more to you than just being a mommy or a wife, then abandon logic and chase your dreams with all you have. Don’t let the naysayers kill your dreams!

Source: How we made it in Africa