Johnson Runuya, a Rwandan finance student and online bakery entrepreneur, poses with a cake ready for delivery in Kigali, capital of Rwanda, May 26, 2021 (Photo by Cyril Ndegeya / Xinhua)
by Frank Kanyesigye
KIGALI, June 7 (Xinhua) – On a bright afternoon in the quiet part of the Bwiza district of Kigali, the Rwandan capital, finance student Johnson Runuya was busy mixing a wide range of ingredients to make a chocolate fruit belt cake, as the delicious aroma of cooking makes you hungry.
“Baking is easy and fun. I loved baking when I was a kid. A good and beautiful cake cannot be rushed, whereas it just requires patience and creativity,” Runuya said, putting on the mix in a saucepan before heating it. He then let the mixture simmer for ten minutes.
His bakery Johnson The Baker now mainly offers birthday cakes, wedding cakes and corporate event cakes and the price varies depending on the type, size and flavors of the 2,000 Rwandan Franc (approx. $ 2) cake. American) to 27,000 Rwandan francs (about $ 27).
A little less than a year after its inception, the online bakery received more than 20 orders per day, which generated a monthly turnover of more than five million Rwandan francs (approximately 5,000 US dollars).
Runuya started cooking in 2018 in high school after her family bought a house with an indoor kitchen, while balancing schooling and baking. Lockdown measures effective from March 21, 2020 aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 have forced many businesses to close, but gave the college student the time and inspiration to start an online business .
“Due to movement restriction measures to protect public health and the growing demand from consumers to avoid physical stores, I realized that I could make money selling my cakes online. I launched an online portal where I could post pictures of my cakes. The website also has an option for customers to place their orders online, ”said the 19-year-old, who was doing an internship at a bakery before the lockdown.
He launched the bakery website just days after the lockdown began and started getting a few orders from friends, family and classmates at college. Orders started pouring in from April as he marketed his business on social media.
“As my business grew, with many orders and with me alone to rely on, there were times I would cook for hours in the morning until late at night just to complete orders on time. However, this prompted me to employ three other professional bakers to fill large orders, ”he said.
More orders also motivated him to work harder to meet demand.
“I have to make sure all my customers get their orders on time. My only goal is to make my customers happy and create something that I look forward to doing every day,” he said, adding that his dream since he was a boy of owning his own bakery business has come true.
The young entrepreneur attributed his success to the quality and consistency of his work, affordability, quality of service and innovation.
Running and growing a business at such a young age put the strain on his shoulders as he still pursued a bachelor’s degree as a freshman at the University of Kigali, but for him it was doable with “dedication and hard work “.
He was even looking forward to making his bakery the leader of the Rwandan market over the next few years. Final element