On 1st May, 2018 I became a mum for the first time and this journey led me into entrepreneurship.
I’m Vera, a full time banker, full time mum to two amazing kids (Adiepena and Papa) and full time entrepreneur. Yes, I don’t do anything half.
When my baby was born, I was introduced to a mum group by a friend where mothers shared recipes and other tips on motherhood. On that platform, I heard about date fruit and date syrup for the first time but I really didn’t pay attention to it. Maybe because my baby had not yet started solids.
Fast forward to November 2018, when my baby started solids, I decided to research on healthy foods to introduce to her and how to sweeten her food without giving her sugar, then I came across date syrup again but the process seemed tedious so I wanted the easy way out (buy). Then I realized there was none on the market (maybe I didn’t search hard enough). I remember asking all the time “are you selling “? Whenever someone posted her homemade date syrup on the mom’s group and the response was always no!! Guess what? I wasn’t the only one asking that question all the time.
So I thought to myself
“Why don’t you do this date syrup and come and sell to these moms?”.
So one lunch break, I decided to go and look for date fruits with my friend at the market and went to Newtown market in our suit under a scorching sun only to be told they didn’t have. One good woman directed us to where we could get some. Got there and there were soo many types of date fruits and I didn’t know the right one that could do the syrup. Looking all confused, I went to one woman and explained what I wanted to use the fruits for and she suggested a particular type. We bought one “olonka” to try. The next day which was a Saturday, I had my friend come over and we tried making it ( first timers, the mistakes and stress was real!) When we were done, the taste was heavenly and the texture was just as anticipated. Then, I knew I was ready to go commercial .
Going commercial has not been easy at all, considering the stressful nature of my bank job, how demanding motherhood is and the responsibility of being a wife coupled with meeting customers’ demands.
I recall in the early days of datelicious, I’ll use my lunch break to go to the market to get dates, get to the house from work around 8pm or later, feed baby and get her ready for bed, attend to my husband and after everyone is sorted, I’ll go to the kitchen and prepare the orders I had for the day ( yes, datelicious started from my kitchen). The dates will be ready around 3-4am, I’ll then put out the fire, go and rest for an hour or a little more and start preparing for the day. When we are ready to leave home, I rush to go bottle the dates and then get dispatch to deliver to the customers. The funny thing is , sometimes after the stress and staying through out the night, I only got two bottles of date syrup and have to plead with customers to have patience and don’t get me started on the number of times I’ve had to throw syrup away because they were burnt from either dozing off or attending to baby or doing something else.
It has been an amazing journey and the memories are a lot. From when we didn’t have stickers to having stickers and seals to figuring it all out. I’m still in the process of learning but I can say I have come far within a year all by God’s grace and my determination not to let anything distract me.
I’ve been broken, discouraged, been disrespected in this journey but I’ve also had amazing customers, some who have become friends now who have supported me from day one and new customers who always encourage me.
Whenever someone buys datelicious date syrup, enjoys it and gives positive review, I just feel soo proud that I’ve been able to achieve something in my own small way.
I hope DATELICIOUS becomes a bigger brand and known across the globe.
Check out my page here on Instagram to view all my products.