Spotlight: Jessie Chipindo Founder of Dulce & Banana Restaurant

A self-taught chef who is on a mission to offer fresh, healthy and well prepared local and international foods and provide great service. On spotlight we feature Jessie Chipindo the founder and head chef of Dulce & Banana multi-cuisine restaurant founded in January 2014. Growing up in Chipata Jessie developed an interest in cooking at an early age of 15.

Orphaned at an early age and after completing secondary school she had to find ways to survive and look after her siblings. She got a job at a guest house as a manager in Ndola but did not like the food they were preparing, this made her to take it upon herself to become a chef, when she started preparing meals the customers loved her food and it became a popular place but unfortunately she could not continue working there so she quit her job to come to Lusaka to look after her sister who was sick at the time. Her sister later died so she had to find a job as a cashier as well as start a business of baking, but she was surprised by orders from customers who wanted cakes so she quit the job and started up a small business.

After quitting her job, business was tough for her and she had to find another job which she had only for two months before she quit to set up her own restaurant. She quit her job in 2013 and wrote a proposal to set up a restaurant at the Swedish School but she was only asked to do catering for their function but she amazed them with her cooking and they liked her food and was given a good ahead to operate the restaurant.

Starting the business was hard despite buying equipments having a bit of money for salary and little experience in the cooking business but with perseverance and determination it paid off in January, 2014, Dulce & Banana opened its doors to the public and what started with a branch and five employees has grown into a bigger business.

With only a high school education and a passion for cooking as well as making so many sacrifices, never giving up and putting in the the hard work with her team, the restaurant has grown from a work force of five to more than forty employees.

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