I am fascinated by unique business ideas and am always inspired by women who find a gap in the market and use their talents and passion to offer a niche service. I am motivated and inspired by these women who start from nothing, put in the hard work and make their mark as entrepreneurs.
Q. Noni, thank you for your time. Please introduce yourself.
A. Hello, I’m Noni Masombuka, founder and head chef of BlackOlive House.
Q. You look very young, when did you get into business?
A. Thank you, BlackOlive House started 4 years ago when I was working a full time job but was always yearning to explore my passion for food.
Q. Have you always known that you want to be self employed?
A. Yes, I have. When I was still studying, I always thought I’d work in hospitality and I’d aspire to change the food game. It so happens that one can change the games more effectively when they are self employed.
Q. What did you study and how does it contribute to your business now?
A. I studied a hospitality management diploma and that alone created an honest passion for customer service and food. My studies have been the core of BlackOlive House operations.
Q. Why a food business?
A. Every time this question comes up, my heart smiles. I have an intense passion for food and for me, nothing else made more sense.
Q. How did you come up with the name Black Olive House?
A. I love olives for the strong and bold taste they have. I am a strong black female and I house all the qualities I need to be a strong and bold force in the food and hospitality business.
Q. What makes your Black Olive House unique?
A. The passion, love and attention to detail. Every menu at BlackOlive House is tailored to the client’s individual taste and needs, from the meal prep to the private catering menus. We offer more than just food, we offer an exciting dining experience tailored for every palate.
Q. What are the different product offerings under BOH?
A. We offer tailored private and corporate catering services, as well as weekly meal preps, which we deliver to your doorstep every Sunday, fresh and ready to eat. We also offer private and corporate laundry services, picked up and delivered to your doorstep.
Q. I’ve been lucky enough to taste your food, it is absolutely delicious. Yum! What’s your favorite dish?
A. Yes, thank you. It’s difficult to choose but I am a big fan of creamy pasta dishes. I also love fresh fruit and fresh herb infused waters. I am currently obsessed with fresh thyme.
Q. What are some of the challenges you have been faced with in your business?
A. The biggest challenge has been juggling my business and a full time job. Most people don’t know this but I’ve been working a full time job until about a month ago. Juggling the two has been my biggest challenge.
Q. Did you receive any mentorship for your business?
A. I didn’t receive any mentorship, I have taught myself as much as I could about the industry, a lot of mistakes were made but these have taught me a wealth of lessons.
Q. If there were no limits and everything was possible right now, what would your business be like?
A. My business would be a full on luxury food truck, traveling throughout Africa.
Q. What is your proudest moment in business so far?
A. Everyday I can wake up and do what I love, is a proud moment for me. I am grateful for it all.
Q. Noni, you are an absolute darling. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me. Lastly, what’s your advice to other women who want to get into the kind of business you are in?
A. Thank you for inviting me, I am truly humbled. Business alone is already a cut throat space for women. Resilience and hard work are the two qualities you most definitely need to have for the food business, it’s not a friendly business to be in. Passion drives me and hard work keeps BlackOlive House consistent.
Facebook: BlackOlive House