Unemployed graduate who sold muffins to make a living expands business with easy mix
Johannesburg - Bloemfontein self-taught baker and self-proclaimed Muffin King Anathi Nonxuba, 27, who has made a living by selling muffins, has now expanded his business to easy mix.
Nonxuba – who is a marketing graduate – started selling muffins in the Bloemfontein CBD in 2019, following a visit to his mother in Joburg and after two years of unemployment.
“I had been working as a sales consultant at Virgin Active in 2017 before I was retrenched. I was unemployed for two years before I decided to visit my mother, who lives in Bloem. It was around that time I started selling the muffins,” Nonxuba said.
He said he had always been an entrepreneur on the side; even during the two years of his unemployment he sold a few T-shirts and caps to make ends meet. However, it was a high school friend who prompted him to sell muffins.
“In high school I used to sell muffins to earn a little extra money. When I met my friend, who had learnt I was in the Free State, he suggested I sell the muffins that I used to make in high school. He told me there was a market, so I went ahead with it,” Nonxuba said.
His mother helped him with the capital to start the business. Nonxuba said he started off by making 90 muffins and selling them door to door. He did this for two weeks before he tried a different approach.
“I went selling my muffins in offices until I decided to try a different approach. I always wear a suit when going out to sell my muffins. This one time I went to Central University of Technology (CUT) to sell outside for the numerous students. However, I knew if I wanted to get a bigger clientele I would have to gain access.
“I use to lie to the security guy and claim I was a Jehovah’s Witness to gain access to the campus and walk around selling my muffins,” he said.
Nonxuba’s strategy seemed to work for him and the university offered him a spot at the entrance to sell his muffins.
During this time, Nonxuba would bake 500 muffins a day to sell to the students. He would take home a profit of R700 daily, however due to lockdown and the pandemic he had dropped to making only 150 muffins daily.
Nonxuba said: “The pandemic has affected me really badly as now I can only make about R300 profit. My market has dropped at CUT because most students are doing online learning; it’s only the first-years attending.”
That did not deter Nonxuba though, as the lockdown spurred him to bring alive his idea to make easy mix for his muffins, and for people to make muffins themselves in the comfort of their own homes.
“The lockdown period had been a blessing in disguise. I had initially hoped to open my own bakery where people could get my muffins, but due to the financial constraints brought by the pandemic, I was able to make my dream to make easy mix for people come alive. It has taken me a full year to structure it and make it possible. I am happy,” said Nonxuba.
Nonxuba further said making the easy mix a reality had also shifted his plans of owning a bakery to him wanting to supply bakeries.
“The easy mix has opened another possibility for me that I am exploring. I am working on getting my easy mix in retail stores to supply a bigger market. I am also looking at bakeries where I can provide my easy mix and muffins,” Nonxuba said.
The easy mix is made from scratch by Nonxuba, and customers only have to add eggs, milk and oil. He made 100 easy mix products and in just two weeks had sold 72 packs.
People who would like to place orders can do so through his social media pages: The Muffin King.