In Kenya, the breed of immigrants has been quite diverse. We have had Chinese Crooks like Wenjie Li who together with other associates opened a Chinese restaurants that barred locals.
However we stumbled on this amazing story of perseverance, commitment and focus, from the niche outlet known as Afghan House, that has grown from a home-delivery outfit, into now a proper outlet soon to be opening at The Hub, Karen.
Started by a couple, it is an inspiration to all Kenyan women who need it imprinted in their brains that life isn’t a walk in the park. You have to partner with your husband and work towards success. There’s no shortcut. All the sponsors in the world cannot buy the kind of joy and happiness that the woman who wrote this story has by now.
And while there might be many success stories out there that we may have not covered, we do believe that this one is deserving and concurrent with our messaging.
As we are days away from our opening inshAllah,we were reflecting on how Afghan house started.
We were new in the country with no job prospects so we decided to start making and selling food at our local masjid (mosque), we were using our tiny kitchen and a small oven and ingredients we had at home. We started by taking food during the Friday prayers but people just walked past it, it was difficult returning home with all the food without selling any. Although it was disheartening we decided to keep trying, we saw a niche in the market for baklava and Afghan food so we decided to start marketing it online. Within the first few hours of our post we had a customer, then two. It was exciting and we were delivering in our car with two kids in the back. Initially our baklava was not satisfactory, so we tried a different type and that was an instant hit with all those who tried!
Purdy Arms (restaurant in Karen) was a good platform for us as people were reluctant to spend money on a homemade product and they didn’t know if it was worth it, we got a chance to offer tasters and it was amazing to see the response; people loved it, slowly the word was spreading alhamdulilah!
We decided to try adding food to our menu too.
We started with one or two orders here and there but people were enjoying it, so once again we advertised it on a group and suddenly we were inundated with orders, I still remember the day!
My husband was cooking, I was cooking, I had a baby in a sling on the side while I cooked and the other one sitting next to me, it was crazy, it was hectic, orders got mixed up, orders were delayed, Lol! It was very crazy! It continued like that for a week, no man power a small kitchen and small children and it was hard but we persevered. Our main problem were the riders, the food would leave here (after struggling) and they would delay it, or get lost or spill it. We still didn’t give up!
Slowly we were getting the hang of things, my husband was able to hire someone to help as I couldn’t do it with the kids, he was getting more organized, we bought a bigger oven and finally moved to a kitchen we had made outside our small apartment. Things were looking better!
We started selling at events, doing small catering events and takeaways; the response was amazing and people were receiving the food well, we were getting good reviews and through word of mouth people were getting to know Afghan house, it was slowly growing. The rest is history, through marketing and trying to make sure our customers were satisfied we established ourselves.
It’s amazing to look back to when we planted a seed and seeing it growing through our hardwork, effort and prayers is just beyond our wildest imagination!
Our main thanks is to Allah az wajjal! He helped us when we were at our lowest and He saw our suffering, our struggle and sacrifice! Only He knows what we have been through, how we have had sleepless nights, stress, almost gave up, turned down and put down. He helped us through it all alhamdulilah ya rabb !
We pray our new venture does well, we thank all those who have supported us in our journey, all our customers who referred us, who believed in us, who encouraged and supported us ! Thank you everyone we aren’t part of a big cooperation, nor trained chefs we just enjoy cooking and it’s great to see people enjoy it.
We hope you will continue supporting us as we start this new chapter and that we will see you all The Hub Karen.
Thank you for reading!
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