Kaze Ange is an Access to Nutritious Food Fellow and an entrepreneur, running a bakery in Kigali, Rwanda. In this interview, she opens up about starting her business just as the world shut down over COVID19 and how the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war has forced her to adapt her business model to accommodate supply chain challenges.
Who is Kaze Ange, the food systems leader?
I’m a visionary entrepreneur and a passionate baker. I’m a hardworking business owner and an innovator who loves creating new products and recipes. My goal is to improve nutrition outcomes in Rwanda by helping people to adopt a healthy lifestyle starting with their eating habits.
Tell us more about Kaze’s Kitchen. How did you come up with the concept, and what have been your biggest successes?
After a year of unemployment, in June 2020, I decided to turn my passion for baking into a business venture. I wanted to provide healthy products that people could enjoy and afford. I soon encountered a challenge because some of my relatives couldn't enjoy my baking as they were gluten intolerant or had diabetes. I searched the market to see if it's possible to bake healthy goods that can be safely consumed by people who, due to sickness, cannot enjoy regular treats.
My biggest success so far is the launch of our healthy menu, made of healthier sugar substitutes and gluten free options. Our goods are delicious. Not many bakeries produce these kind of goods so we have managed to set ourselves apart and attract loyal customers.
What is the best thing about building a food business in Rwanda?
The most interesting experience is meeting fellow entrepreneurs and food systems leaders working in different capacities across a range of industries. We build each other up and push each other to greater heights.
The ongoing Ukraine-Russia war has affected food systems around the world, most notably when it comes to wheat. How has your business been challenged by this global disruption in wheat distribution, and what have you done to adapt?
One of the first thing we did was to make sure we had trustworthy suppliers that could continue to give us raw materials at reasonable prices. The second was to notify our clients and have conversations on how best we can adapt to continue serve them. Ultimately, we increased our product's prices, in order to be able to cover the production costs and still make a profit.
You have been a Fellow at the African Food Fellowship for six months now. Why should African food systems leaders apply to be part of the Fellowship?
This has been an opportunity to meet and get to know fellow food systems leaders and to learn more from them and their journey. I now understand better what they are trying to do and how interconnected our work is. I have been able to get valuable resources that will help me take my business to another level.