Vhongani Shumba’s love for experimenting in the kitchen inspired her to start her gourmet butter brand, mi butter. Now it’s on everyone’s lips and she shares her secret with future agripreneurs.
mi butter (pronounced as “my butter”) came about in 2016, when Shumba, from Limpopo, was experimenting with different gourmet recipes. “It was in the experimentation process that I discovered an idea that soon became a gourmet brand.”
Shumba regularly posts recipes on the mi butter website, crafted especially to match the butter flavours she has processed. The inspiration for the butter flavours translates to her customers and the food they make.
She says the feedback she gets from her customers keeps her motivated, and manufacturing her products makes her so happy that she does not feel like it is actually work.
“I’m at my happiest when I’m blending my butters, knowing that each product is going to make a difference in someone’s food. [Customers] send me pictures of the meals they’ve cooked with mi butter and messages of how inspired they are to cook more and try out new recipes.”
Flavours to die for
mi butter is blended with fresh herbs, spices and roasted garlic. Packaged in aesthetically pleasing glass jars, the mi butter flavours include Bacon Chives, Beurre Rouge (red wine with parsley), Mint Lemon and Paprika Rosemary.
Shumba explains that the butter is engineered so that it is easier to use than your average butters, and it is healthier as well. “We add extra virgin olive oil to make our butter softer, making it easy to spread and [less likely] to burn quicker when frying. We use pure quality butter that has no preservatives or added colourants. mi butter can be used as a flavour enhancer when frying, cooking, baking, roasting, spreading or making sauces.”
For aspiring agripreneurs who may want to create their own brand identity, she has the following advice:
1 Find what makes you happy
Shumba says that when you start your business, you will end up getting less sleep, having less money and working very hard. “[That is why] you must love whatever you decide to do.”
2 Believe in your product
Believing in the quality of your product or passion is an essential ingredient when creating an agribusiness. “When you find [what makes you happy], believe in it.”
3 Stand out
‘Be unique, stand out, be consistent and always remember whom you are doing that business for. Always put them first.”
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