A passion for baking leads to a full-time business

Since starting her business, she has been inundated with orders, says Rego Moeketsi. Image: Supplied

As a child, Rego preferred to spend her free time in her grandmother’s kitchen, watching and helping her cook and bake.

“I loved paging through magazines, finding recipes that appealed to me and copying them into my own home-made cookbook. I loved playing with flour and making my own little cakes and biscuits,” Rego told “Business Report”.

As she grew older and became more proficient at making her own baked products, she started selling her home-made scones, cookies and muffins to colleagues and friends.

“All I wanted to do was to hone my craft at a culinary school, but I just could not afford the fees,” she said.

Moeketsi put her dreams on hold and took a job as a secretary at a military psychological institute, and while there, she obtained a BCom in Industrial Psychology from Unisa.

But her love for baking never waned and she spent all her free time making cakes for family and friends and keeping up to date with the latest tastes and trends.

In 2020, at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, she started selling her baked goods via social media. She recognised that her business had the potential to be successful and grow quickly, so Rego took the bull by the horns and by the end of 2021 had signed up for part-time classes at Capsicum Culinary Studio’s Pretoria campus, while still holding down her regular job.

“What made things easier for me in terms of paying school fees was that I could pay in instalments,” she said.

Moeketsi did the school’s Professional Patisserie course under the campus head, Chef Mark Coombe, and chef lecturer Larozaan Van Zyl and graduated as a pastry chef last year.

Following her graduation, Moeketsi resigned from her job and decided to formalise her baking business by registering her company, RCM Bakery, using the initials of her full name, Regomoditswe Charlene Moeketsi.

With support from her husband, it was not long before RCM Bakery was doing a roaring trade, with Moeketsi working out of her home in Pretoria West from a specially built kitchen that she uses for baking only.

“Since starting the business, I have been so inundated with orders that, recently, I had to employ a temporary assistant, whom I’m hoping I can hire permanently,” she said.

The most popular requests are for celebration cakes, cupcakes, scones, biscuits, snowballs, tarts, dessert cakes and desserts.

Rego said her two daughters, Bonolo (18) and Lesedi (12) and her seven-year-old son, Remoabetswe, also help out when she is really snowed under.

The next step for the ambitious 38-year-old pastry chef is to open a fully operational bakery and café.

“I would like to create the opportunity to employ more people and hopefully make someone else’s dreams come true. Last year, I offered free classes to two unemployed women so that they could also make some money baking and selling their own goods. It’s just my way of giving back to the community and uplifting other women, and I plan to do the same again this year.

“Unlike cooking, baking is an exact science, so always use the measurements stipulated in a recipe. If it says to use 250ml of flour, then use 250ml and not 220ml or 260ml or else the cake will flop. Also, always use fresh, quality ingredients, do not overmix the dough, and be gentle when mixing things like cakes and scones. Finally, remember that people eat with their eyes first, so make sure your products are appealing. Presentation is important,” she said.

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