Waffe Confections brings new energy to Maun’s Old Mall
Having nurtured a passion for cooking since childhood, self-taught chef, Batsile Lekoko is tasting the benefits of turning his relationship with food into a business.
The 22-year-old is currently enrolled in Culinary Arts Studies at Career Dreams Centre in Maun.
To whisk-up some much-needed cash, after spotting a gap in the Maun market, the Serowe native started Waffe Confections with his own savings.
Located in the tourist town’s famous Old Mall and running since October 2020, Waffe Confections serves both hot and cold beverages, specialising in milkshakes, cappuccinos, and various other types of coffee.
Customers can also enjoy fresh waffles and a selection of delicious cakes that Lekoko bakes himself.
“I realised that there was a market for my products since here in Maun we don’t have shops like Milky Lane and Cappuccinos who specialize in such items,” explained the passionate young baker.
He is confident his milkshakes and cappuccinos have worn the hearts of Maun residents because of their generous size, affordability, and taste.
As well as the drinks, Lekoko’s ceremonial cakes are a big hit with sweet-toothed customers.
“All ingredients are bought from local regular grocery stores,” revealed Lekoko, who also provides catering for events.
It is five months since Lekoko set-up Waffe Confections – short for Waffle Café – and the road less traveled has proved a slightly bumpy ride.
The recent rains that have soaked much of the North West since the start of the year have had a slightly sour effect on a sugary enterprise exposed to the elements.
“We operate in an open space. Weather changes affect our production. We have to pack-up each time when it’s raining or windy,” grumbled the youthful entrepreneur, his face dark like the thunder that plagues his business
“The business is still slow. However, I do work with orders and sometimes I prepare for customers while they wait. I also advertise my products office to office and that’s how I get more customers.
“Most of our customers are people who are in town for shopping or just running personal errands. We have not confined ourselves to any certain market,” added Lekoko.
With the global pandemic greatly reducing the number of tourists that normally flock to Maun every year, Lekoko has been denied a huge chunk of his anticipated customer-base.
The on-going 8 pm curfew has also proved a blow.
“Initially I had expected my customers to be tourists and people who work long hours. But due to Covid-19 and curfews, it is not the case,” he admitted.
Operating in the Corona era, Lekoko has an obligation to ensure that all his customers comply with Covid-19 protocols. It is an obligation he takes extremely seriously.
“We encourage our customers to put on face masks. We don’t sell to anybody who does not comply and we always ensure that there is social distancing.”
Lekoko is currently working with his classmate, Kgosi Senne, who assists in the daily operations of the business. He hopes to run a fully-fledged restaurant in the near future that will employ more youth.