‘We want to help chefs succeed’

2019-10-23 06:02
PHOTO: Moeketsi MamaneChefs in the Park founder Mduduzi Hlophe behind the grill.

PHOTO: Moeketsi MamaneChefs in the Park founder Mduduzi Hlophe behind the grill.

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CHEFS in the Park, a programme that is aimed at giving young businesses a platform to market themselves, is set to return for the summer season.

The programme was initially started in March last year and was closed for winter.

Mduduzi Hlophe, who is the founder of Chefs in the Park, said the whole aim of the programme is to assist young chefs in obtaining capital to enable them to open their own businesses.

The programme will officially kick off on October 18 next to the Piete­r­maritzburg City Hall, after which it will take place every Friday.

“When I started this programme last year I started it out of frustration because I wanted to open a restaurant but I did not have the capital. I thought to myself: ‘Why not start this programme, that will happen every Friday when people are less busy, and also help other chefs get capital to start businesses of their choice’.

“We are going to start with only 10 stalls at the moment but we want to see this project grow and assist more people in our city,” he said, adding that since they started they have already had people successfully open businesses after being part of Chefs in the Park.

“We want this project to be countrywide and be adopted in other cities as well one day because we want to help everyone. But, to be part of this project and be successful, you need to be a food lover, have a passion for food and be dedicated. We are urging the community to please support us,” said Hlophe.

The founder said they are working on a plan to make deliveries to those people who are unable to come out of their offices for different reasons.

Thabisile Cele from Imbali Unit 2, who is part of the project, told Echo that if it was not for the programme she would have not have been able to successfully start her own business.

“I started at Chefs in the Park with nothing but now I am running a successful catering business.

“This is a good opportunity, especially for small business people because they will get a chance to market their work and get capital to start their own businesses,” she said.

For more information on how to be part of Chefs in the Park contact Hlophe at 083 301 0960.

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