Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How a Nairobian made millions from mandazi business that needs only Sh1,000 to start

For so many years, baking Kangumu, a popular tea escort in most Kenyan homes, was the main source of income for Casper Nyagaka, a businessman in Nairobi.

While he previously earned handsomely from the business, Nyagaka revealed he had to shift gears to a new product after noticing a high demand for a more soft snack, which saw him lose customers to one of his competitors.

“I started baking kangumu in 2014 at Kawangware area, the business was not bad but next to me was a Ugandan man who used to make softer ones. With time I realised he was giving me stiff competition and I asked for his recipe. But the Ugandan refused,” he recalled.

In search of success, Nyagaka traveled to Uganda to research the business. After visiting a few bakeries, a newly acquired friend offered to teach him.

His return to Kenya a few days later marked the beginning of his new business, which gained popularity countrywide in just a few months.

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Nyagaka started baking his first soft kangumus and christened them KDF which shortly became a household name within Huruma.

“The name KDF does not stand for anything and has no links with the Kenyan Defence Forces,” he says.

He noticed a high demand for the snack, prompting him to increase production and hire more employees to meet the growing demand. As of 2018, he had 40 employees working 24 hours at his bakery.

“The staff works day and night to cook about 100,000 pieces daily. Preparation of KDF does not require much skill other than measuring and cutting the mandazi pieces into equal pieces,” he said.

Each KDF pack costs Sh60 and contains six pieces, each with a shelf life of one week. Nyagaka’s business has attracted customers across the country, with the businessman supplying the snack to various parts, including Nairobi, Naivasha, Kitengela, and its environs.

This sees him pocket about Sh50,000 on a good day, but sometimes, power outage slows him down. He plans to diversify into bread baking.

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