What to do when a global pandemic hits? Well, you bake! And that’s exactly what Nonku Sithole did when our local lockdown hit us hard. However, she didn’t just bake for herself, she started a small business called Oh So Glorious Bakes…
Nonku reached out to us to tell her story, and we are Oh So Inspired! Read more about her journey below, babes 👇
Hi Nonku! Thanks for taking the time to chat to us. Can you please tell us more about yourself and how you got into baking?
Hi Bianca, it’s my pleasure and thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity.
My Name is Nonkululeko Glorious Sithole also known as “Nonku”, I am a Durbanite currently residing in Johannesburg. I have a great passion for the hospitality industry, I always tell people that I did not choose hospitality, hospitality chose me. I have always worked in hotels in many positions with some of the biggest hotel groups (my favourite being my current position of Guest Relations Manager).
I grew up in a household where cooking and baking was a bonding moment between my mom and sisters, we all loved my mom’s kitchen and I think my love for baking and making sweet treats dates back to then. At the beginning of 2020 I set out to do a cake decorating course with the SA School of Weddings with the interest of eventually starting my baking business, I started the course but had to stop in March when Covid-19 hit us hard.
We went into a hard lockdown and this is the time I used to teach myself how to decorate cakes and make treats through watching videos, following my favourite bakers, buying books and learning daily through watching baking shows.
I have always wanted to start a baking business but my career in the hospitality industry was so time-consuming and it held me back from pursuing my passion, in August 2020 I decided to officially launch my home bakery and it has been an amazing journey. I have made so many beautiful and delicious cakes and treats for my customers.
What types of goodies do you bake and where can we buy/order them?
I make cakes for all special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and anniversaries as well as a variety of 15 flavoured cupcakes, sweet desserts and pastries. I currently bake and sell my products from my home bakery, I do deliver but there is also the option of collecting. I will soon launch an online store through my website and customers can order from there but currently, orders and inquiries can be sent via my Facebook business profile, WhatsApp or email address which I monitor regularly.
What has been the most challenging part of becoming self employed?
It is sometimes very tiring to bake and decorate cakes (mostly when there are too many cake orders), I am currently a one-woman band so I do all the work. I did not have start-up capital so I used some of my savings to purchase operating equipment for my home bakery. There are so many aspects to running a business that I was not aware of but I am tackling each challenge with grace as it comes. My partner Tich Kuwana is a business guru and helps me a lot with the business side of my baking business.
What does the future hold for Oh So Glorious Bakes?
I am going to take this bakery to the top, I have such big dreams and I know that one day they will come true.
I would like to partner with local stores and explore the opportunity of supplying my products to them.
I would also like to one day have my own bakery store where I can sell all my goods, I have been looking into the idea of opening a coffee shop but not your usual coffee shop, I want to create a space where ladies (and gents) can come to chill, unwind, have coffee while catching up with friends, I would also like to host women empowerment events and other social gatherings at my coffee shop, big dreams I know but I am so determined.
I would also like to author a dessert cookbook and do a baking show.
Do you have any advice for aspiring bakers out there?
Start where you are with what you have, there is a huge misconception among home bakers today, they often seem to think “I need to leave my day job TODAY to start my home bakery TOMORROW”. Starting a home bakery is a gradual process and you need to be very patient with yourself, learn from others as much as you can. Success is the result of hard work, learning from failure and persistence. Be very stubborn with your dreams.
Get to know Nonku:
Who is your SHEro? – My mom. Not only is she strong, kind, loving, supportive and caring, she has also accomplished so many great things in her life while facing so much adversity. My mom often had to make so many sacrifices for us, my mom loves people, she is so compassionate and brings light to any dark situation and that makes her my SHEro.
Cake or cupcakes? – Tough choice but I will go with cake.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be? – New Zealand
What would you sing at karaoke night? – Brenda Fassie- Weekend Special.
Quote you live by? – What the mind can conceive, it can achieve. Do not be afraid of failure, be afraid of not trying in the first place.
Thank you Nonku! You can follow her journey below 👇
For more inspiring stories, here over here.