“To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart,” these were the words of Thomas Watson Sr, the Chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM), and the very words seem to be the true definition of Grace Nabunnya, a finalist who has been pursuing a Bachelors of Food Processing Technology at Kyambogo University for the past four years.
Nabuunya decided not be an ordinary student at campus and has surely tried so many things that many would not dare do. She held four different leadership positions at university, three elected and one appointed. However, we shall not discuss her leadership experience for today. Our reporter Shadrach Kolya caught up with Nabunnya and looked into some facts surrounding the one ambitious girl who has founded a marvelous Cake Bakery dubbed Cake Palace Uganda.
Who is this Grace Nabunnya that I have heard so much about?
I am a finalist of a Bachelor in Food Processing Technology at Kyambogo University awaiting graduation in December. I also happen to be the CEO of Cake Palace Uganda, a Cake Bakery. I have also been a renowned leader at University. During my four years, I was a Deputy Guild Speaker 2017/2018 having won a GRC election. I contested for GRC again the following year and was appointed a Guild Minister for Ethics and Integrity 2018/2019 by H.E. Amanya German.
When did you start Cake Palace Uganda and what really inspired you to begin this wonderful venture?
I started Cake Palace Uganda on 10th August, 2018 after my internship at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) where I picked interest in baking.
Baking cakes must require a lot of knowledge on ingredients and processes, experience and equipment. If you agree, please enlighten me on how you have been able to obtain all these in the past on year?
While doing my industrial training at UIRI, I concentrated on baking and acquired some skills. Then, as a food technology student, I paid much attention during practical sessions that involved baking. About obtaining the equipment, I saved some money from government allowances and started with very little capital which has increased over the months.
Have you encountered any challenges so far?
The biggest challenge that I have faced as for any other budding business, is disloyal and untrustworthy clients who never clear their balance. I have also fallen short of funds to enable me expand the business.
What is the response of clients whenever you bake cakes for them?
They love my cakes. They usually tell me that the cakes are moist, tasty and fresh.
How much did you start with and where did you get the first amount of money to start?
I started with Shs 20,000 which I obtained from my internship facilitation. I baked my first order using a friends’ oven.
Do you employ anyone currently at Cake Palace?
I employ basically two gentlemen, one for cake decorations meant for big ceremonies like weddings and introductions and the other as a marketer for my biscuits.
Talking of biscuits, does that mean that you bake so many other products apart from cakes?
Yes. I actually do cookies, rookie bans and biscuits.
What is your biggest achievement and disappointment ever since you started commercial baking of cakes?
Securing 2 wedding cake orders and 1 introduction cake order are the greatest achievements so far. My worst disappointment was when i bought a faulty oven and I made a huge loss.
Can you estimate for me the net worth of your business at current?
The business is now worth over UGX 5 million.
Where do you see Cake Palace in the next 10 years?
Cake palace will be the leading bakery in beautiful, high quality and tasty ceremonial cakes in Uganda.
Where do you operate from currently and how should customers reach you?
I operate from Kiwatule. Customers can call or whatsapp on 0780957754/ 0751547739 to make orders.
Who is your role model in life?
Mrs Ukonika Prudence, the managing Director of Bella Wine Uganda inspires me a lot.
Any advice to graduates out there who are looking for jobs and have not thought of entrepreneurship as an option?
All graduates should focus more on what they can add to the community with the education they have acquired instead of demanding from the community. They should also understand that no job can cater for all their needs unless they venture into self employment. They should do anything legal as long as it provides income.