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Meet the young entrepreneurs who are making waves in the food industry

by: Koketso Masuluke - 22 September 2016

Starting your own business can be intimidating especially in the food industry where you are competing with established brands and restaurants all over the world. But this hasn’t stopped these five young entrepreneurs who are doing everything from coffee, tea, ginger beer and even pop-up restaurants. Here are five young entrepreneurs who are changing the food industry.

1. Why Cook?

#students #catering #corporate #cooking #meals

Mathapelo Montsho and Yolanda Nomoyi

Why Cook? was started by Mathapelo Montsho and Yolanda Nomoyi as a catering company with a twist. Not only do they cater for corporate events but for those of us who miss home-cooked meals while at varsity, they also have us covered. The team offers weekly student meals for a fee, where are guaranteed five healthy meals per week.

See more of their work.

2. Mcofana coffee brand

#coffee #mcofana #denim #young #entreprenuers

Thabang Rankoe and Nyakallo Mokoena

Nyakallo Mokoena (with the cap) started his coffee brand, Mcofana, in his hometown of Sasolburg last year and has already been featured in top magazines like Destiny. Mcofana, his company’s name, comes from the kasi slang for coffee. He imports the coffee from Rwanda, then roasts it, packages it and sells it at pop-up stores and events around the Free State and Johannesburg. 

See more of their work.

3. Basotho Heart Craft Ginger Beer

#Gingerbeer #LesothoNatives #Entrepreneurs #Johannesburg #Africancuisine

Maletuma Malie, Matseliso Thabane and Kabelo Mollo.

Frustrated at not being able to find traditional ginger beer when they moved from Lesotho to Joburg, these three young entrepreneurs decided to brew their own, and Basotho Heart was born.  Maletuma Malie, Matseliso Thabane and Kabelo Mollo brew the craft ginger beer themselves, which they bottle and also sell at markets and on delivery around Gauteng. “We so enjoy the authentic flavours of homestyle African cuisine and drink that we want to make it mainstream,” they said.

See more of their work.

4. Off The Wall pop-up restaurant

A photo posted by Khanya Mzongwana (@yuluishii) on


After the Aztec Kitchen,  a take-away shop she started with her mother, closed down leaving the family with little money, Khanya Mzongwana,  decided to move to Gauteng from Port Elizabeth. Years later she founded Off The Wall pop-up restaurant. The restaurant caters to groups of up to 50 dinner guests on a monthly basis at +27 Cafe in Hatfield, in Pretoria Every month sees a new food theme, from Italian and Indian to Egyptian, with décor to match.

See more of her work.

5. Lady Bonin’s Tea

#LadyBonin #Tea #pouring

Jessica Bonin

Lady Bonin’s Tea blends started by Capetonian, Jessica Bonin, began as a food truck that used to do the rounds at music concerts around the Western Cape. Now she runs a the country’s first tea take-away bar on Long Street. She sources her teas from around the world and ensures that those who love tea can look just as fashionable as coffee drinkers in the streets of Cape Town.

See more of her work.

Follow the writer: Koketso Masuluke