How the peanut paste business has transformed Achan’s life

Having lost her job as a casual worker at Speke Hotel in Kampala due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Teopista Rosetta Diana Achan had to find means to earn a living.

Her search for other jobs initially didn’t yield anything but the 24-year-old never gave up.

Just like the saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” Achan also got tough.

“I thought outside the box. I realized the only way out was creating a job for myself and since I had responsibilities which included looking after my siblings, this was the only way out,” the 24-year-old says.

She says that armed with Shs 40,000 that she had saved from the previous job, she was determined to start flying on her own but also fend for her family.

“With the Shs 40,000, I bought four kilograms of groundnuts, a kilogramme of simsim and a few containers to start peanut paste business. I chose peanut butter because students loved kipooli so much when I was still in school. My target market was therefore schools,” Achan says.

She explains that since schools were then under closure, she had to sell her products to other members of the public, but things were not coming out as well as she had expected.

Achan then had to think outside the box.

Social media

Achan says that in order to be different from others, she embraced social media to help her market the business.

“With only five kilograms of peanut butter, I made a simple tweet, ‘support my hustle’ but the result was amazing. I got plenty of orders. The rest is history,” she says of the beginning.

She adds that she has continued to embrace social media to help her market the products which also include food spices and groceries like fresh fruits and vegetables.

“I use all social media platforms to advertise my products. I am also a very social person that every time I go out to a night club, I come back home with an order or two after interacting with the people around me in the club.”

Achan says she also benefits from referrals from clients satisfied with her products who recommend their friends and family members to buy from her.

In order to be distinct from others doing the same business, Achan says she does market research which helps her to know not only her potential but also existing customers and her competitors.

“This enables me to produce what is best for the market but also retain customers by providing them discounts.”

“I try my best to give clients good quality products. I ensure my products are as natural as possible. I don’t add any other ingredients into my spices and peanut butter. For example, when making peanut butter, I use only simsim and groundnuts unlike others who add other ingredients.”

She explains this ensures she produces the best products on the market.

Her products range between Shs 11,000 for a tin of 800 grams to Shs140,000 for a 10-kilogram tin of the same paste and through these sales, she says she earns between shs3 million to shs5 million per month.

Proud of her business

Known by many, especially on social media as Maama Kipooli, a name coined from her business, Achan says whereas she is not yet where she wants to be, she is a proud dealer of peanut paste.

“I haven’t achieved much yet, but I have been able to employ a few people especially   youth and single mothers. I also take care of my family including siblings and I own a grinding machine. I am proud of my business because it has changed by life,” she says.

Her dream is to own the biggest peanut butter company in the country with branches in all regions of the country.

Achan adds with hard work, this will be possible.

She also has some advice for youths.

“Start with the little you have. All big things come from small beginnings and consistency is the key,” she says.

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