Len Bakeries finds sweet success in its indigenous cakes

  • Lerotse cake and Morula loaf are hits among Batswana

GOSEGO MOTSUMI

Homegrown concept, Len Bakeries, took off to a sweet start, thanks to the company’s delectable cakes that had the taste buds of Batswana talking for them within days of first savouring the flavour of the organoleptic delights, Time Out has established.

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Never one to shy away from experimentation, the owner of the bakery, Goitseone Lenyatso, makes cakes that would pass the WTO’s test for local content requirements if it came to that, thanks to use of indigenous ingredients and recipes.

“One day my husband brought me a lerotse (lekatane) from my mother-in-law and suggested that I try baking a cake with lerotse puree. I did and I loved it,” Lenyatso said in an interview. “The response is very good and humbling.”

“Batswana love the fact that they get to eat a cake that they can identify with and one that is different from what they are used to. And they love the taste. One bite and they come back for more. Some customers actually wake me up at night for the cake!”

Len Bakeries is the only bakery that produces lerotse cakes and morula loaves around. They are also the only bakery that produces butter creams locally. These come in five different flavours – caramel, lemon, vanilla, cream cheese and chocolate. The company also makes cake pre-mixes that come in four flavours of red velvet, vanilla, chocolate and black forest.

Says Lenyatso: “I got into this industry when a lot of people were already in it. I had to devise aggressive marketing techniques and unique branding if I wasn’t going to fall by the wayside overnight. I also looked into what gaps needed to be filled so as to come in as a problem solver. And bingo, I identified many opportunities that I took advantage! For instance, the manufacturing and sale of butter cream and cake pre-mixes was the answer to the nightmares of most local bakers.”

The bakery is always looking to expand its ever-growing creations, the latest being Rea’s Morula Jam that is made from the ubiquitous morula fruit. Lenyatso says more indigenous products are in the pipeline and will be shared when the food is ready to be served. Their products are available from Trans Lobatse, Jumbo Francistown, Squaremart, Trans Mogoditshane, Trans Tlokweng, King Baker’s Inn and Party Friend in Gaborone.

Established in 2013, Len Bakeries came after the loss of Lenyatso’s firstborn son. A good friend of hers, Neo Kizika, made the family a cake and shared the recipe. Lenyatso has not stopped baking since.