Meet Jamila Dewo, Proprietor of a fast growing business called Jaadeats. She is a Chef, entrepreneur and a mother who has been managing this enterprise even despite the current period of uncertainty. Here she talks to us about her journey!
What can I get from Jaadeats and how did it begin?
I deal in a variety of things like local food, snacks and also cakes. I bake cakes for birthday and wedding and Introduction occasions. My business is typically home based. It all started a while back when I used to cook make some products from home and give them to my neighbors, who later picked interest and started even helping me with the pricing. I got comments like “You should be selling this at this price” or “The cupcakes are worth this amount”
Eventually, I distributed my products to other nearby shops and I came to start my own shop.
What are your main responsibilities as a baker and small scale entrepreneur?
Now I do mostly the managing, making sure the business is going as it should and also the baking. I do most of it. Inspecting the finished product.
Do you have help? If so, how many?
Yes. I have three workers who help me through most of the cooking work and reception and the baking as well.
- What is a typical day like for you?
When I wake up, I normally start with the baking for the next day. I always do my best to ensure the confectionery products are fresh. I don’t do too much so the products can go faster especially when they are still fresh. So each day I make a specific amount of cake, as I have a daily estimate and of course when I receive an order. After putting the cakes on display, then I start making the drinks; cocktails and juices. We do drinks too!
What do you like most about your work?
Uhhh. I love it because it keeps me busy, occupied and also it’s scoring a lot of my financial goals.
Plus, I love cooking, you could say it has always been my hobby. I keep adventuring more and more.
What do you like least about your work?
Nothing really, but sometimes it gets tiresome.
So what kinds of problems do you deal with?
The biggest so far is making losses. On some days, the customers don’t turn up as expected. But nevertheless, we enjoy the goods and eat them.
How does your job affect your general lifestyle?
I am a mother and I try as much to get my kids involved in what I am doing. It was a hectic challenge in the past before I hired the workers but that has changed now. The business is at home so I am very close with my family. This has also been wonderful because the kids are learning a lot about cooking because we often do it together, It’s becoming a part of their lives.
What current Issues & Trends in the field should I be aware of?
Well, in my area, I don’t have a lot of competition as such. I have been keeping up to date through our Baker’s group on Whats App. I have noticed the online marketing some bakers are trying. Although during this period, I started delivery services. I mounted a signpost at the shop (since we were ordered to close) and the results have been overwhelming. I added delivery charges and the customers have been okay with it!
Amazing strategy! How has this impacted the business?
The clients are more now! Before, most people used to work all day in town and get back in the evening, it’s been quite different this past few weeks due to the Lock-down. I am now supplying Breakfast (snacks like doughnuts, mandazis, samosas and chapattis), Lunch and Supper unlike before.
What kinds of accomplishments tend to be valued or rewarded in this field?
Satisfied clients! I have had a number of my customers who have been posting and promoting my business on their WhatsApp statuses, and also referring me to other clients especially the wedding and birthday cakes. It’s a good feeling.
So if I wanted one of your Cakes, is it as simple as contacting Jaadeats?
Yes, it is.
How relevant to your work is your Educational Background?
I studied Home Economics in my O & A level at Kyebambe Girls’ School. Though I have always had the passion, I didn’t even have the money at first to start up but I still loved cooking.
Are there any skills, abilities and personal attributes essential to success in this field?
You have to love what you’re doing. It’s not just a matter of saying I’ll do it because am the only one doing it. I personally found my skills improving as I practiced and researched.
One skill perhaps is Art. I love art and it has helped me a lot especially with the cake decorating.
Artwork on Cakes is an amazing skill.
Do you have all the essential and rare items you need to take it to another level?
I have some materials yes.
Have you ever tried visiting us on Sure House?
At Uganda Trimmings Limited, we have a range of products for our clients.
I saw the shop and was impressed. You have very good products but the prices I have to say were bit high.
Can you recommend any professional associations or Magazines which would be helpful in this field?
Well, currently we have a baker’s group on Whats App which has helped me a lot with advice and keeping up with the ongoing trends in the baking industry. The manager is Kweni.
Thank you for your time, Jamila.
We here at Uganda Trimmings Limited are dedicated to promoting bakers all around the region. Visit Us again!