NEARLY four years ago, Elizabeth Amunyela (EA) took a courageous leap when she turned her passion for baking into a thriving confectionary business known as Epeta’s Bakery. Her confidence was not just based on the delicious treats she offered, but also on her carefully crafted reputation as a baker to be reckoned with.
The bakery, founded in 2014 operates in Windhoek but also caters for clients countrywide. It offers delicious treats such as themed cakes, cupcakes and cookies to suit any celebration with a touch of creativity and elegence.
Speaking to Confidente’s Marianne Nghidengwa (MN) recently, Elizabeth highlighted that her business had a slow start but that didn’t discourage her. Instead she used the challenges to develop the brand that has become a household name locally.
She spoke in detail about transforming her casual love for baking into a full-time job, and also shared tips on becoming a successful entrepreneur.
MN: Briefly tell us about yourself.
EA: I was born in Angola and raised in Windhoek. I am the oldest of five siblings. I grew up in a very loving and supportive home with parents that were and are still involved in my life endeavors. My mother has always been my strength, she has raised a wonderful and strong daughter. I studied Information Technology (IT) at there then Polytechnic of Namibia now known as the University of Science and Technology (NUST), with a major in Systems Administration and Networks. I own a baking business which is my passion and I am driven into making it a success.
I am a driven lady that strives for success with everything I do. I remember always wanting to be in control of everything because I always thought I can do a better job. It is a strength and weakness at the same time but I am working on it. I love to be around people although I am an extremely private person.
MN: Tell us about the establishment of Epeta’s Bakery and services it offers?
EA: Baking was a mere hobby of mine but I always wanted to find my life’s purpose. I knew that having an eight to fivejob was a tool to achieve what I always wanted to do. That’s when I realised I can turn my passion for baking into a successful business.
Founded in 2014 Epeta’s Bakery is a confectionary business inspired by creativity and elegance. We offer delicious treats such as themed cakes, cupcakes and cookies to suit any celebration be it a birthday, wedding, bridal shower etc.
MN: What inspired you to start the business?
EA: People are what inspire me to do what I do, especially the expression on their faces when they indulge in one of my creations. Making people smile with something as simple as a sweet treat from my kitchen gives me a sense of fulfillment.
For any entrepreneur, making a profit would be an obvious objective and I am no different but my main objective in doing business is to help people.
I have always wanted to contribute to people’s lives, to make a difference through training, employment, sponsorship or financial aid and in achieving this, I believe that Namibians can then realize that there is a future in being creative.
MN: What challenges did you face starting the business and how did you overcome them?
EA: There were so many challenges I faced when I started out. From the long hours to the limitations in sourcing baking tools and equipment. M y biggest challenge was breaking into the market because people are reluctant to try out a new baker. I always made sure that I did my absolute best and that every product that went out the door looked and tasted good. Pricing was another challenge, to not under charge but making sure that I was not too expensive was a headache. It still is to any baker but I learned to always improve and always to charge what my products are worth.
MN: What makes your business stand out from the rest?
EA: Epeta’s Bakery concentrates on detail, we also like to maintain a good relationship with our clients. We make sure to let or clients know that they are important and go out of our way to make their day extra special by trying not to recreate a certain themed cake for another client.
MN: What’s the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
EA: Personal Fulfillment. Owing and running my own business is more satisfying, knowing that I am putting in long hours for my own growth and future. I have a sense of pride knowing that I have built this brand that is still growing.
MN: Where do you see the business in 5 to 10 years’ time?
EA: I see Epeta’s Bakery as one of Namibia’s and hopefully Southern Africa’s leading confectionary business. We have so many ideas on how to grow but unfortunately I believe in the power of jinx so all I can say is watch this space.
MN: What advice do you have for fellow women keen on starting a bakery?
EA: Firstly, do it with God. M a k e s u r e y o u love i t , running a bakery is one tough job but the love and passion you have for it will help you persevere. Know that there will be times when you will fail; your cake will start falling apart or it will not be cooked through or a client will not be satisfied. I know because there was a time I had a very unhappy client and it broke my heart but instead used that to improve and learn. Lastly always put your clients first. Sometimes they can be demanding but they are the center of your business, treat them with kindness and respect.
MN: Just what do you do for a little fun?
EA: I love to be around people. I always have a good time with family and friends. Travelling, its home away from home.
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