In 2018, Fredrick Macharia like many fresh graduates, entered the job market with high hopes and enthusiasm.
However, the harsh reality of job scarcity hit him hard, and despite his efforts, securing a job proved to be a formidable challenge.
His foray into the world of employment began with menial jobs, including six months of hard labor at a construction site. It was during this time that Macharia stumbled upon the idea that would change his life – the business of selling porridge.
“At the construction site, people would come with flasks and food dishes to sell breakfast and lunch to us,” Macharia recounts.
The entrepreneurial spark ignited within him as he observed the potential in providing a much-needed service to his fellow workers.
The money earned from his construction job was insufficient to cover basic needs like rent and food, and Macharia saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the market.
Teaming up with his foster sister, Macharia made a strategic decision to relocate to Nakuru and venture into the porridge business. They started with the traditional porridge made from flour, sugar, and water. However, their journey took an unexpected turn when they discovered a new market trend – ‘super uji.’
This ‘super uji’ was no ordinary porridge; it was a nutritious blend of organic ingredients such as yams, sorghum, ground nuts, milk, bananas, simsim, stinging nettles, and omena.
Recognizing the potential of this unique offering, Macharia and his sister pooled their resources, investing Sh7,000 in a blender and borrowing an additional Sh3,000 for ingredients.
The introduction of ‘super uji’ proved to be a game-changer for Macharia. They attracted a loyal customer base, with orders pouring in, and satisfied clients became enthusiastic advocates, referring their porridge to new customers. Macharia’s business steadily grew, and the duo expanded their operation.
In their entrepreneurial journey, Macharia and his sister incorporated a mutual partner into the business. They also hired three employees to assist in selling their porridge in offices and other establishments within Nakuru.
Their strategic decisions and hard work paid off, leading to a thriving business that generates a significant income.
The porridge business, once born out of necessity and observation, now stands as a successful venture for Macharia. The income generated ranges from Ksh 70 to Ksh 100 per bowl, depending on the ingredients used. On a good day, the team can make up to Ksh 5,000,.
“I am happy that people are slowly realising the importance of going back to traditional food such as yams, sorghum and the ingredients we use to make the porridge
“These foods are very nutritious will help keep lifestyle diseases away,” Macharia said.