Spice Of Africa
Growing up in the village of Gachie, Kenya, I learned to cook, and be an entrepreneur by the time I was 10 years. I sold potatoes, tomatoes, and collard greens that I had grown myself at the local farmers market and old newspapers to store owners in order to have my own pocket money.
Since moving to Oregon, USA, as a young adult, that spirit of entrepreneurship has served me well. While completing my Bachelors of Science, in Business Management, I started Spice of Africa; a catering and cooking school that specializes in African food. Our first client was Portland Community College (PCC) where I taught a series of cooking classes in 2009. We are a company that has grown organically, and after those first initial cooking classes for PCC, we expanded into catering, private and fundraising dinners, as well as selling our food at our local farmers markets. We still teach community education classes at PCC. We have come full circle. December 2015 – March 2016, we went on a 4-month community service trip to Gachie and surrounding villages and distributed over 40,000 books and school supplies to schools that we shipped in partnership with Rotary Club of Beaverton. We set up a community library, kitchen, and a sewing project to stimulate community and economic development in the village- this project is called Feed the Village and it is the humanitarian and philanthropic branch of Spice of Africa. I am grateful to have the opportunity to impart the values of sharing and caring to make our world better place for current and future generations to today’s youth, and my 13 year old daughter who came on the trip with me. You can learn more about our work in rural villages at www.FeedtheVillage.org
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
Spice of Africa offers a unique culinary experience! We create delicious African food that takes our patrons on a journey to explore African cuisine through their taste buds. Our patrons enjoy interactive, hands on, educative and informative, cooking classes. Through us they relive their African experience for those that have travelled or look forward to their journey for those about to embark on one to Africa. We also cater and host both private and public events as well as fundraising dinners. From 5 to 500 we have it covered.
Ours is a unique niche as we find we are the only company that teaches classes of and offers East African food from Kenya. We have catering clients that enjoy patronizing us annually, and we have consistently added to our database of clients as we have grown, both in offering foods from West and North Africa.
Our main challenge has been not having our own commercial kitchen. As we have grown, and have experienced more jobs coming in, our shared commissary kitchen has outgrown us both for cooking classes and our catering activities. We find we need a kitchen we can schedule our own hours for both classes and catering activities. With this in mind, our goal is to open our own kitchen with a little café to offer our delicious food, hire two staff, and continue to give back to our local community by establishing a program to feed the homeless where they can come in for a dinner once a month in dignity and peace. At Spice of Africa we always say, “Spice a dish with love, and it pleases every palate!”
What is the purpose of this loan?
It will help me get even more business in the door as I can market and advertise my own kitchen, set my own hours and invite my patrons to have their dinner parties at my location.
Years in operation: More than 5 years
A loan of $5,000 helps Wambui open my own catering & cooking class kitchen.