The first lady of baking

Baitshepi Sekgweng
VARIETY: The mixes come in a range of flavours

‘Mma Atsile’ mixes it up in the kitchen

With a whisk in her hand, an apron round her neck and ideas racing through her brain, Tendai ‘Faith’ Shoshore is a formidable force in the kitchen.

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Known as ‘Mma Atsile’ (a nickname she shares with the First Lady) in the world of cakes and buns, the brilliant baker is enjoying sweet success with her business, Chef Faith Cake Mixes.

Having worked in a number of high-end eateries in the capital, with the likes of Cappuccino, Bull & Bush and Jalapenos benefiting from her cooking, in 2014 Shoshore decided the time was right to go it alone.

Free from the shackles of formal employment, she thrived as a Private Chef, catering for corporate clients.

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Three years later, Shoshore took the entrepreneurial journey one step further, founding Light Bulb Cake Mix, which, in 2020, she would rebrand to its current identity: Chef Faith Cakes Mixes.

“I have always liked baking. I remember back in high school I was one of the fortunate ones to do Home Economics at school both Food and Nutrition and Fashion and Fabrics. I would take the recipes home to my mom, God rest her soul, after school. She would then buy me ingredients and ask her friend on my behalf to use her oven since we didn’t have one at home,” recalls Shoshore, who grew up in Gweru, Zimbabwe.

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Based in Gaborone, Block 10, the enterprise’s mouth-watering product line includes a range of cake and muffin mixes, cheese cakes and fresh bread. Aside from the food, they also sell baking equipment.

However, it is their cake mixes, available in 1 and 2.5kg packets, and featuring flavours such as chocolate, coconut, all bran and vanilla, which really sets the bakery apart.

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“With the way business is going right now I can’t complain. I receive positive feedback around the country from different individuals via social media; the reception is overwhelming! The good thing about our products is that they are for everyone. From home use, baking for beginners, bakeries and restaurants,” explains Shoshore, who plans to introduce red velvet and carrot cake to the mix soon.

Leading a team of five part-time workers, although content with her current progress, the bubbly boss has big plans for the coming years.

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These dreams include turning Chef Faith Cake Mixes into a household name, taking the brand beyond Botswana’s borders and creating full-time employment for the country’s youth.

“Manufacturing this product is not something I learnt at school but it’s years of polishing my skills in the restaurants and hotels I worked at, from the market reviews and researching. What makes the product simple is that it’s 100 percent homegrown. Batswana love the product. I am a grateful person, as long as we get at least one sale a day, we are winning,” declares the humble egg-beater, who previously co-hosted ‘Namsie’s Kitchen’ on Gabz FM, and was a presenter on Now TV’s Faith Creative Cooking.

2023 has been something of a breakthrough year for the business, which is now stocked on the shelves of Square Mart (in GC’s CBD), Trans Old Lobatse branch and, just last month, Choppies outlets in: Game City, Northgate and Mowana Phakalane.

If the first lady of baking has her way, this is just the start!

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