Monica Babirye and her husband Sam Katusiime have a clear vision for their small business. They want it to grow to become a main source of nutritious and tasty snacks for consumers across the central Ugandan district of Wakiso and beyond. Unsurprisingly, they have named their business Vision Bakery.
The couple is among the growing number of individuals and enterprises that are helping to expand the value chain and reach of orange sweet potato (OSP) in Uganda. Vision Bakery has integrated OSP into its production line, combining flour made from this biofortified crop with wheat to make cakes and donuts that are popular with consumers in the region.
“OSP is good for health because it has vitamin A, which improves eyesight, immunity, and skin quality,” says Monica. “It was an easy decision for us to integrate it into our products. We sell many of our products to schools and institutions for children and youths, because we think they should be benefitting from OSP.”
The decision to adopt OSP is paying off for the bakery. The donuts and cakes have become so popular that Monica and Sam have had to move to a bigger space to increase production. “The children especially love our products, ensuring that they sell out really fast,” says Sam, who personally makes deliveries to the schools each morning. With increased production has come increased income, allowing the business to buy and own the new premises.
Monica and Sam say that there is another reason for their increased earnings in addition to greater sales. Thanks to OSP’s distinctive qualities, Vision Bakery is able to save on a couple of expenses previously considered inevitable.
“Before we started using OSP, we would need two-and-a-half kilograms of sugar for each round of the production process,” says Sam. “Since OSP is naturally sweet, we can nowadays save half a kilogram of sugar for each round, for a total of 4 kilograms at the end of each day.” Additionally,” adds Monica, “we no longer have to spend money on food coloring products; OSP’s color is greatly sought after by cake and donut lovers here.”
With sales and profits exceeding expectations, Monica and Sam have every reason to be confident that their grand vision for the business is fast becoming reality.