By Hannat Nabadda Twitter: @Hannat28
This week’s inspirational woman is, Hannat. The first time I met her was at a mutual friend’s house party in my senior six vacation and even though we didn’t interact much, you could notice how friendly and warm she is towards other people. We later met again at Akamwesi Hostel in MUBS where we were both staying for the duration of our university life and its then that we started interacting. Hannat is the girl most people would run to for comfort, her hostel room was always full of friends; giggling and chatting away. Overtime after university when I saw her sharing images while chef school on social media, I could see determination to make her dream work. Now as the business gets busy, her quality and love for making delicious gourmet foods is still as palpable as it was at the start. Here is her story.
I have wanted to be a chef as far back as I can remember. Always loved to eat and loved to make things that me and others could eat. When we were kids my mum used to wake us up really early to help out in the kitchen on Sundays. Everyone one of us hated it, we had to get up early for school Monday to Friday and they enrolled us in whatever extra class they could find on Saturday’s too. Sunday was the one day we looked forward to sleeping in and wake up to a lunch feast. But not in my mama’s house!
It didn’t matter if she came knocking twice or 5 times to get you out of bed, or if you were too short to reach the sink. You had to do something to help out; at least watch and learn. She always tried to cook up a variety & made sure it was different form the last Sunday; from kinyebwa to fish fingers (not this frozen stuff you get in a box) she cut fresh fillet into tiny finger pieces and then had everyone pick a coating to be in charge of; flour, eggs, breadcrumbs.
I’m not saying I enjoyed it then, but I think it might be where I picked up my excessive love for food.
Maybe somewhere along the way my subconscious stopped loathing Sunday morning and started to look forward to it. Who knows?
Going to culinary school and becoming a professional chef however was always a dream (like skittles falling from the sky type of dream) I never made any serious plans or goals towards it because I never ever imagined that it would ever become a reality, didn’t stop me from dreaming though & with each year that i didn’t get to live the dream, it got bigger.
I have never had a clear plan for my future but my answer to where do you see yourself in 5 years, “I don’t know” was always followed with a “maybe someday i’ll actually become a chef”
A year after I had completed my Degree in International Business & had started an administration job, my mum somehow convinced my dad to let me give it a shot.
I couldn’t believe it, I still can’t believe it sometimes…but it was finally happening! Becoming a chef was nothing like I had dreamed shocker! It was hard work, ALL the time, every situation & decision felt like a sink or swim- live or die situation. I had no prior knowledge to what it really entailed and like most people I thought I was going to perfect what I already knew and make food look cute *chuckle* it was the opposite of that, but I thank God that even though living my dream was the complete opposite of what I had always imagined, I grew to love it more.
I have never felt more dedicated to anything in my entire life. When I came back to Uganda and opened up my own little business, The Food Library I knew it wouldn’t be easy but finally seeing my dream of being a chef has taught me to never stop dreaming and realizing that it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It has taught me to work harder through the struggles that life puts before you.
My friends and I came up with the name The Food Library because I didn’t want to limit myself on what to serve, my inspiration for food and pastry comes from different cuisines, different places at different times & almost always there’s a story being told with the food and cakes I make. “There’s a whole world inside a library” different books on different places and different things, & that’s what I would love for my mobile food business to grow into.
At the moment it’s still a one woman business. I take all the orders; make them, package and do the deliveries. It’s been hard & recently I have had to limit the number of orders I can take in order not to affect quality of the product which Is hard because I hate saying no to people, but i have learnt you would rather disappoint them with a no than falling short on what you deliver. Customer satisfaction means the world to me, I have had serious panic attacks in the past because of things I haven’t delivered 100% on. Like I said I have never been more dedicated to anything in my entire life.
The Food Library offers private dining services; from canapés to 4 course meals we create a menu that can easily suit your budget. We bring our own table ware and waiters and prep at the location of your choice, & leave the place spotless at the end of the evening. We also provide; office lunch deliveries, whether daily or for a special occasion, accessorized birthday cakes and lots of other Pastries. We do have cotton candy & chocolate fountains available on order for some of your special occasions and when you are read to have a memorable party, give us a call and will make it happen.
Twitter: @The_FoodLibrary and Facebook: The Food Library
Call/ Text/ Whatsapp: +256 751 157 039