New mom cuts cooking time for career women and businesses

Mahlangu's sliced and diced vegetables make cooking easier

Botshelo Charmaine Mahlangu, ‘convenience’ is the magic word for career-driven women juggling motherhood.
Botshelo Charmaine Mahlangu, ‘convenience’ is the magic word for career-driven women juggling motherhood.

For Botshelo Charmaine Mahlangu, convenience is the magic word for the modern woman juggling careers and motherhood.

In 2020, Mahlangu became a first-time mom who wanted to prepare healthy meals for her family, but found the task of chopping vegetables daunting and time-consuming.

“I said to myself, what if there was a place where I could buy fresh veggies that are cut the way I like,” she said.

This said sparked an idea to start a business and Ready Chopped Veggies was born.

Her business model is a pre-cut vegetable shop located in Protea north, Soweto, offering readily chopped, fresh, neatly packed vegetables that help families eliminate a step in the time-consuming meal preparation process.

“Ready Chopped Veggies offers convenience and understands that the key to a successful vegetable business lies in the quality of its products,” Mahlangu said.

The sliced and diced vegetables come in small packs and bulk orders for any event.

The packaging of the vegetables allows one to use the desired amount of veggies, and reseal and refrigerate them after opening.

Seasonal vegetables prepared for customers include pumpkin, butternut, baby potatoes with parsley, broccoli, cabbage, and coleslaw mix among others.

Ready Chopped Veggies sources its produce from local farmers.

When Mahlangu started her business, she had to find the right supplier with fresh produce.

“One of the challenges in the beginning, was finding the right suppliers who provide fresh, quality vegetables. We also did not have our own delivery van and cold room…,” Mahlangu explained.

However, watching Ready Chopped Veggies grow gave Mahlangu satisfaction.

While her business now caters to individuals and caterers, Mahlangu says the goal is to become a supplier to local shops, retailers and hospitals.

Due to a lack of financial support to grow her business, Mahlangu had to let go of five employees and is now running the business single-handedly.

“We assisted in job creation, when it [the business] was still doing well, however, we have hit rock bottom and had to let go of our employees. We had two permanent and three part-time employees aged between 25-35 years,” she said.

Mahlangu’s message to new entrepreneurs is to work hard and not expect any hand-outs. – This article was first published in GCIS’s Vuk’uzenzele

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