A taste of Kea Ramphadile's determination
On Motlana Street in Orlando West, Soweto, tucked behind a red brick wall and a black wrought iron gate, former advertising account executive Kea Ramphadile is building up a business - one platter at a time.
The single mother of one picked up an apron after being retrenched in September 2016 and started cooking up a storm. She owns Deli Treats Grillhouse and has been running it out of her home kitchen since October 2016.
"There was no time for me to mourn my job," She recalls.
Ramphadile had to think very quickly about how she would support her family. She lives with her mother, son and elderly grandfather.
The gourmand promises customers a varied culinary experience. Her menu offers everything, from platters to kotas and baked goods. Her drinks offering has smoothies for health food junkies and cocktails with sexual suggestive names, like Silky Panties, Triple Orgasm and even one titled Kea's Twist.
"My menu is internationally and locally inspired. I did my research for my menu. I did not just wake up one day and think 'let me just do this'. It's a diverse menu that caters for everyone," she explains.
Ramphadile cites chefs Siba Mtongana, Benny Masekwameng and Guy Fieri, host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, as her culinary inspirations.
Her business transactions happen online. Prospective customers contact her via the company's Facebook page, Deli Treats, and order from the menu which is downloadable. They have the option of collecting from her home or for her to deliver, at a fee.
Her background in advertising has come in handy. She does not have a qualification as a chef, but her chef associates helped her brush up on her cooking and baking skills.
"When I started, pricing was a bit of a challenge. But I got to learn by attending seminars and speaking to business people who are well versed in this field, and speaking to different chefs on Instagram," she says.
While getting the business started she held down various freelancing jobs, one which included being project manager at Balfour Mall, Johannesburg. She is currently freelancing as she does not pay herself a salary. Her profit goes back into the business and in paying extra staff she needs for big catering jobs.
"When I started, all I used to say was 'I need funding'. But then I realised I actually don't need funding, I need customers."
She says she has learned how to get and keep customers, and admits that when she started she was all about hyping the business. Now she is focused on the administrative side.