The American Psychological Association defines “creativity” as “the ability to produce or develop original work, theories, techniques, or thoughts.”
While this obviously applies to artistry, it can apply equally to everyday activities in which one takes existing elements and creates something new—such as using the ingredients of sourdough bread to make a staple food.
In Botswana, it could also mean recalling classes that one attended at junior secondary school some several years ago and making use of the great lessons learnt then.
Lorato Kenalekgosi (34) is one amongst the many former public school attendants who are now making use of the time they spent learning a junior secondary school subject dubbed ‘Home Economics’.
Kenalekgosi is the founder and director of Bakes with Cathy Lo – a baking business which is not only limited to cakes but also does pastry products like biscuits, cupcakes, muffins, scones, pies and desserts.
Before embracing her culinary skills, Kenalekgosi worked mostly in administration fields and education as she possesses a Diploma in Human Resources Management.
But having been granted P1000.00 grant by the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) Kenalekgosi has since established her baking business at the country’s third biggest village – Molepolole.
Bakes with Cathy Lo started operating in May 2021.
Its founder says the company services are targeted at everyone. “When I first started my target market was children. I was passionate about anything that had to do with kids. That is kids cakes, kids clothing, kids’ education etc.” She then points out that because clients always have a way of unearthing hidden talents, when they saw her work they asked for all kinds of cakes and the rest is history.
The Molepolole based businesswoman says her culinary background stems from a young age when she used to watch her mother and her late friend in the kitchen cooking. Every Christmas her father’s late sister would call her and her cousins for baking lessons. Little did she know that she will enjoy the fruits in the future. Though she never went to any culinary school, she studied Home Economics in her Junior and Senior Secondary School and she believes this also propelled her baking skills.
Just like anyone who is in the food business, Lorato notes that the constant price escalation of food commodities is quite a big challenge for her at the moment.
She also says competition is very stiff and because of that she always has to find new ways of staying ahead of her competitors. She says her value proposition is flavour and the art of her cakes. This is how she distinguishes herself from everyone else to attract more customers.
Kenalekgosi says this year she is all about growth. She wants to see herself and her business growing tremendously. She also wants to create employment for the youth and give back to the community. She has indeed started giving back to the community as she is training two young men who completed their Cambridge last year. She is teaching them how to bake and decorate cakes for free so they can venture into the business as well.
She hopes government could one day have Direct grants and zero-interest loans as well as employment support schemes in place to assist start-ups. Bakes with Cathy Lo is located in Molepolole along the Royal Cemetery road at Bobididi Jwa Maja Dibodu ward. For more information about the business she can also be contacted at : +26771583387 or +26772514735.