Who doesn’t love a decadent slice of cake, or a platter of beautifully crafted pastries, enjoyed with a cup of coffee or created for a special occasion? Kenyan entrepreneur, Esmeralda De Souza-Obwaka, founder of Spez Limited, is building a culinary name for herself in the patisserie world with her deliciously decadent brand “The Missing Slice.”
LoA met with the inspirational Esmeralda De Souza-Obwaka to find out more about her passion for food and her creative approach to world class patisserie.
What does your company do?
We offer premium outside catering services under the brand ''Spez'' and we create decadent cakes and pastries under the brand ''The Missing Slice’'. Our client list includes most corporates and multi-nationals in Nairobi.
"At Spez, we want to be the benchmark for quality food and service in Africa. That is our vision."
What inspired you to start your company?
I had my son at 19 years old and needed a source of income to pay for his school fees.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
We are passionate about what we do and customize our products for our clients. We offer a delicious range of menus and pay keen attention to how our food is served and presented.
"We want to be the BEST, most successful and most referred food company in Africa. Aside from the outside catering service we offer, we would also like to set up a restaurant chain, a concept for which we are currently working on."
Tell us a little about your team
We have a dynamic team of people with different backgrounds who are all passionate about what they do. We have a total of 24 employees and each of them has a great story of how they have grown within the company over the years. A watchman who grew through different roles to now become the Procurement Officer; and a waitress who grew to become our current Customer Service Manager; these are just a few of the beautiful stories at Spez.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
It has been QUITE a journey. So many challenges and opportunities have come up along the way. I actually studied Geology in University, but dropped out after two years to start the business. I have taken up different courses in entrepreneurship to compensate for the lack of ''formal'' knowledge. I am the first entrepreneur in the family, but hopefully not the last.
"It is great to know our business sustains so many lives, not just our employees but also their families."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
At Spez, we want to be 'the benchmark for quality food and service in Africa''. That is our vision. So essentially we want to be the BEST, most successful and most referred food company in Africa. Aside from the outside catering service we offer, we would also like to set up a restaurant chain, a concept for which we are currently working on.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Two things. Firstly, receiving great feedback from our clients! Secondly, seeing the team grow, both as individuals and as a group. It is great to know our business sustains so many lives, not just our employees but also their families.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
When opportunity comes knocking, do not ask it to come back another day! Take it and RUN!
Contact or follow Spez
Why LoA loves it….
As any entrepreneur working in the culinary world will tell you, it takes a combination of passion, as well as creative flair and endless amounts of energy to build a successful food business. Luckily, Kenyan entrepreneur Esmeralda De Souza-Obwaka has all of these traits, and harnesses them to create mouthwatering confections that please individual customers and big corporate clients alike. She is building a name for herself as a culinary brand to watch on the African continent, winning scores of loyal fans along the way. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa