By Willy Nkya
As human beings we have different passions ,but transforming your passion into business is something only few of us can do, Thereza B .Mongo (Tedi Benard) ,is among the few women who has transformed her passion into business ,As the Managing director of ROYAL SPICES ,Tedi Benard shares her journey to becoming a spice trader in Tanzania ,Tedi Benard who owns a bachelor degree in sociology, tried multiple business but her passion in the kitchen made her find the right business, that is the spice business. In a sit down with Tedi Benard ,she gave me a grand tour to her journey and I couldn’t wait to share it with you.
Tedi Benard: “As I was cooking I used to post pictures of my food ,and people would ask me details on what made my food look so delicious, once I told them the spices I used, most of them had no idea on what they are and where to get them ,so it hit me that mhhhhh!!why don’t I start making these spices and sell them”
Tedi Benard started her business last year on May but officially introduced her products on the market around June 2017 till today she has expanded her market to different parts of Tanzania. Tedi acknowledges the great support that she received from her husband and family in general ,she highlights on the importance of getting support from Family and not just financial support but just the encouragement and permission to undertake her business by her husband is among the best support, as we all know that African wives are obligated to obey and live according to their husbands will. Currently Tedi sources some of the spices from Zanzibar,Morogoro,Tanga and here in Dar es salaam (Kariakoo) ,
MP: Why Royal?
Tedi Benard :“While trying to find a name for my brand, I had to figure out a name that will be limitless ,meaning it won’t limit anyone to use my products regardless of their religion or culture .But also I want my customer to feel royal ,because my products will give you that Buckingham palace feeling .Lol!”
The spice business is not such a new business to be practiced in Tanzania but Tedi Benard’s uniqueness is well explained on her statement “Royal spices has been blessed with Multiple varieties of spices ,and due to my research and my study at SIDO ,this made me produce the best spices that some of them haven’t been seen in the market ,example I have a spice only for Nyama choma (Barbeque/Grilled meat) called Mixed grill,and Kitchen King which is a spice that is multipurpose ,it can be used for different varieties of meals ,also my prices are really fair compared to others”
The world of social media today has been one of the biggest platforms to promote business and directly connect with customers, Tedi Benard uses these platforms effectively ,she says “I personally love these platforms ,as all of them have driven customers to my products ,but currently my favorite is Whatsapp messenger , especially the Whatsapp status ,since being in business for a while ,has made me circulate my phone number ,so after just updating my status ,instantly I get request and enquires about my products ,and per post I could get up to 100 views,instagram has been also my fave, it’s just where I get a chance to share most of my works and connect with fellow entrepreneurs and customers as well, not forgetting facebook which was among my first social media to introduce my business and since then it has never let me down”
It’s no doubt that making it in any business ,one must pass several challenges and setbacks ,among of the setbacks that Tedi Benard has faced is the issue of certification and license, this process takes so much time and money ,Imagine you need like 7 government certificates and license to carry on your business in Tanzania ,some of them includes TRA,TFDA,TBS,BRELA etc.for an upcoming entrepreneur this is really discouraging. I guess the government needs to fix this.also another challenge is having different packages, sometimes she faces customers who need large quantity of her products in just one container ,so she is on the process to increase her package to 500Grams containers ,this will be special for people with hotels and even Mama Ntilies.
The story of Tedi Benard becoming a spice queen is so inspiring ,her message to us is that “Not everyone can start a business ,but through other people’s business you can create a foundation and find a path for your business,look at me currently I have Agents distributing my products to approximately 7 regions in Tanzania like Mtwara,Mwanza,Morogoro ,Arusha,Moshi and Dodoma. The other advice is that in everything never lose hope and don’t give up, along the way you might face certain setbacks, but once you set your Goals always stick to them and let nothing drive you away from your purpose”
For more on Tedi Benard feel free to reach her through Instagram @royal_spices_tz ,Facebook royal spices tz, Email firstname.lastname@example.org ,Youtube Jikoni na Tedi benard .or if you want to be the first to catcth her Whatsapp status feel free to add +255683086648 to your contact list.
Thank you for reading ,be sure to catch more of missie popular posts coming your way