By Sibabalwe Tame
Lulonke Bakery is a small Makhanda business owned by former Eastcape Midlands student, Phiwokuhle Mbiko. She started her business back in early 2020 and decided to name it after her child, Lulonke.
“2020 was a horrible year, and I was sitting at home doing nothing”, Mbiko told Grocott’s Mail. With Covid-19 hitting hard, creating more poverty, especially for unemployed people, she sat down and thought of a way to make money.
Her initial business plan was to sell muffins for R10 each. “People bought my muffins and they loved them,” she added. Later in 2020, Mbiko decided to extend her menu to cakes and cupcakes. “I do not want to lie, I did not go to school for baking,” she said, explaining that she learnt about baking from YouTube.
Mbiko now sells her designer cakes for R250 to R800. She also sells cupcakes for R8 each, and muffins in packs of four. Mbiko said that she had faced a lot of challenges when she started her business, with some people still preferring to buy their muffins at shops. Although she wore gloves when baking, “people were afraid to buy muffins, because of the precautions that were taken during Covid-19”.
In order for her business to function, she had to go door to door and sell muffins after waking up very early during the Covid-19 curfew to buy ingredients in town.
“My goal in the next five to 10 years is to open my own bakery here in the township,” said Mbiko. She added that she does not want people to have to go to town when they want to buy party cakes and muffins.
“I also want to get tenders when there are big events or conferences,” she said, adding that one of her dreams is to hire unemployed youth and teach them how to bake.
For people who want to get in touch with Lulonke Bakery, here are the contact details:
Cell No: 066 549 3622
Facebook: Phiwokuhle Mbiko