Ivy Mango Chatora, who is based in the UK, has turned her childhood passion into a thriving business and loving every part of it. As the woman behind Ivy’s Kitchen, she has forged her own path by creating a multifaceted business that incorporates what she loves: food and decor.
Intrigued by her business acumen and entrepreneurial journey, we reached out to Ivy to learn more about how she established Ivy’s Kitchen.
What is Ivy’s Kitchenette, and what was the inspiration behind it?
I opened Ivy’s Kitchenette in 2013 after a friend added me on a cooking group on Facebook. I love cooking, creating recipes and researching about foreign foods, so I felt like I wanted to share my passion with people.
From a tender age, I was fascinated with recipe books and loved watching cooking programs. I grew up with my grandfather, Reverand Ronald Mango. I remember we used to have very exquisite Friday dinners that my grandmother prepared. She would set up the table with her expensive chinaware, as if kings and queens were coming to dine with us. I carried that experience, and I guess it also contributed to my love for cooking and to the birth of Ivy’s Kitchenette on Facebook and A Taste of Zimbabwe on Instagram.
How do you juggle different aspects of business, i.e. home décor and catering?
It’s not easy, but I guess for me it’s passion driven. I love decor, and I love cooking. When I go into decor, I find myself missing cooking and vice versa. I guess time will tell which route I will have to take eventually.
What challenges have you faced in your business, considering most business is online and on social media?
The most challenging thing is there’s a lot of competition on social media. And one of the things that I’ve found I’m burdened with is knowing that the hospitality and food industry in our country is not recognized. In other parts of the continent like SA, they embrace people in this industry and brands get to collaborate with personalities and some even get brand ambassador deals with certain companies that are in the hospitality and food space.
What do you consider the best part of your job and why?
Creating recipes, cooking for families, for gatherings and making people happy. Playing around with different ingredients and foods to create unique dishes with unique flavour combinations. You get to work with a lot of people, and it’s so rewarding just knowing that you’ve made an impact on people in the food industry.
What is your advice to other women who want to venture in business?
If you love it, go for it, You never know where it will take you. Be consistent, be true to self and follow your heart. We are in need of many more Zimbabwean chefs, food bloggers, catering companies, etc. The more the merrier, and we get to place the Zimbabwean food cuisine on the world map.
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