A passion for food and people

2008-01-31 00:00

Having lost virtually all his money in a business partnership in Johannesburg that turned sour, Ronnie Xaba returned to KZN in 2005, determined to transform his passion for food and events décor into a successful business.

In the short space of just over two years, Xaba has grown his company, The Rock of Catering, into a viable and sustainable business.

"We had a thriving catering business and were serving the corporate market. But I have learnt the hard way. I came back to KZN with nothing. I felt robbed and betrayed by my partners," he said.

Xaba, who has a passion for food and serving people, said that this experience taught him how to handle the financial affairs of the business.

"That experience taught me that I should stand on my own."

He stumbled upon the spot in the CBD from which he currently runs The Rock of Catering while catching up with a former colleague upon his return to KZN in 2005.

"I signed a short lease, and I was told that this is not a lucrative spot. However, my intention was not to set up a takeaway from here, but rather to set up a kitchen. A government employee was walking by one day and she saw us setting up and asked us who we are. She was interested in doing business, but she was very thorough and interrogated me a lot. I promised to provide her with samples of our food and promised that I would not let her down."

Having secured work at small boardroom meetings as a result of this encounter, Xaba then grew his business via word of mouth and recommendations.

While he has found the process of doing business with the private sector more challenging, Xaba has not ruled out the possibility of growing The Rock of Catering by exploring this avenue.

He intends to secure larger and more suitable premises in the short to medium term.

He also has his sights set on a venue that can host seminars and small conferences.

kavith@witness.co.za

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