By TROY MUKUPA
Catherine Katebe Katongo, is a gifted Zambian entrepreneur and owner of a popular bakery called “Cathy’s Cake & All” located in Kamwala, just opposite Kamwala prison. And like many other seasoned entrepreneurs, Cathy, as she is fondly called by her peers, notes that passion and hard work are essential for any business to grow and flourish. She further explained that as the cake making business grew, her confidence in baking yielded.
Asked what was the inspiration to establish her baking business, she responded, “The business started like a joke (laughs). I used to bake plain cakes for my family. Then one day I decided to cream it for new year’s day and posted it in one of my recipe groups of which they congratulated me for trying and that’s how I gained strength, and kept on trying. The business has been running since 2020”
“For me I feel it’s the fact that I have worked on the product (cake baking) for so long of which I have perfected it,” she said when asked what separates ‘Cathy’s Cakes & All’ from other cake makers? “When you get a cake from Cathy’s Cakes & All, you are guaranteed a perfect and satisfactory product because I have been in this business for some time. I make cakes for all occasions; wedding cakes, picture cakes, themed cakes, anything, including all flovours of the the customers choice and sizes from 4 to 14 inches,”
She acknowledges that like in any business, there are challenges in the cake making business, “Yes there are alot of challenges especially when the stove stops working you opt for a brazier. Worse without a fridge and the customer decides to pick the cake in the evening when you agreed in the morning. Also there is the issue of market penetration. Almost everyone is rushing into cake making business and trying to win new clients over is usually hard. It takes a lot of marketing to finally convince them that you do have something better to offer”
Asked what advise she was given when starting her business and she would advise someone wanting to venture in the cake making business, Cathy, who advocates for self-sustainability and encourages the youths to use their skills and talents to make an honest living said, “The best advise was that never give up in this journey you have started because in this business you will face a lot of challenges, and my advise to those that would want to join this business is that they need to be strong, its not for the feint hearted because we are now many in the industry.”