Kasonde Bernadette Ndakasha is the owner of popular bakery Kassy’s Classic Cakes. She is a young Zambian entrepreneur who advocates for self-sustainability and encourages the youth to use their skills and talents to make an honest living. She recently launched her first book, ‘Baking with Kassy’. “Its such an honor and a great privilege to have our own local baking book for Zambians and by a Zambian.”
We caught up with her for an interview.
KAPA187: When did you discover your love for baking?
KASONDE: I discovered that I love baking somewhere in 2013, when I started continuously trying out different things when it came to cake recipes. I found it interesting and exciting.
KAPA187: What was your inspiration to establish your own baking business, Kassy’s Classic cake?
KASONDE: Starting my company was actually not a planned move. In 2014 I got fired from my formal job for no proper reason so I told myself I will have to do something on my own, as opposed to looking for a job all over again.
KAPA187: What would you say separates Kassy’s Classic cakes from other cake makers?
KASONDE: Basically I feel it’s the fact that we have worked on our product for so long and we have perfected it. When you get a cake from us you are guaranteed a perfect and satisfactory product.
KAPA187: What challenges did you face when starting up your business, and how did you overcome them?
KASONDE: The first challenge I can talk about when I just started is that I didn’t know how to bake. People used to complain a lot, some people would actually bring back the cakes and demand their money back. I spent a lot of time trying out different recipes until I found something that worked.
Other than that there was the issue of market penetration. Almost everyone has a bakery, so trying to win people over was hard. It took a lot of marketing and free give always to finally convince people that I do have something to offer.
KAPA187: What type of cakes do you specialize in?
KASONDE: We make cakes for all occasions; wedding cakes, picture cakes, themed cakes, anything.
KAPA187: Tell us about your book “Baking with Kassy”, how has the response to it been so far?
KASONDE: The response to the book has been great, but you know there is always room for more. We are hoping we can reach people on different platforms other than social media, which we are using right now to do all our publicity and advertising. Very soon we will have the books available in bookstores. I am sure that will help reach a wider audience.
KAPA187: Do you feel the current economic climate in Zambia is favorable to entrepreneurs such as yourself?
KASONDE: Well the economy is not favorable per say, simply because the cost of production for a lot of things is so high. This makes it difficult as an entrepreneur to offer a service at a cheap and affordable rate to our customers, but we just have to keep at it.
KAPA187: What advice would you give to young people who have a passion for something and want to venture into “nontraditional” careers?
KASONDE: Self-sustainability is the way to go really, the government can’t employ us all and we can’t just sit and wait, so we NEED to go out there and find something to do. Quite alright it’s not easy especially starting, but it gets better, believe me, plus you are able to work at your own pace and time so you can build an empire.
KAPA187: Apart from your baking business you also a wedding planner, marketing consultant and motivational speaker. Tell us more about that?
KASONDE: Specializing in wedding cakes, I have had a lot of exposure in the wedding industry. I have worked with so many people who work in different fields and I’m able to do wedding planning because of that.
For motivational speaking, I feel the urge to encourage youths and cheer them on. Share my experiences, especially what I have learnt in regards to running a business single handedly.
I also do a bit of marketing consultation; especially when it comes to market penetration, market strategies and advertising. These are the factors that have greatly contributed to the growth of my company in less than a year. From 2014 to 2015 my clientele base grew by say 90%.
KAPA187: How do you manage to balance your various ventures?
KASONDE: I am a workaholic, I usually sleep late at night and mostly I’m all over the place, but I always make sure that I get my work done and it’s done on time. I practically don’t have a social life.
KAPA187: Any last words…
KASONDE: Lastly I would like to encourage young people out there to step up! Go out there and do something. If you need ideas or just someone to talk to about your business plans and ideas I’m always available to help and advise where I can. For those already running businesses but feel they need a boost please feel free to contact me. My Facebook page is called Kassy’s Classic Cakes. You can send me a message, and then we can take it from there.
Dear Zambian youth it’s time to starting living your dream and not just dreaming it.
Here are samples of her recent works
Interact with Kasonde on social media:
Facebook : Kassy’s Classic Cakes