For Amina Musa Suleiman, taking a decision to bake doughnuts was a step to keeping herself busy. Now she has made it a full-time business. The B.A History graduate and CEO of Delight Doughnuts in Kano State tells TMG her story…
TMG> How did you pick an interest in becoming a pastry chef?
Amina> My first interest started when I graduated from Bayero University Kano before going for the National Youth Service Corps. I don’t enjoy staying at home doing nothing, so I decided to think of what to do that would keep me busy. Then l decided to start making doughnuts because of my passion for baking.
TMG> Did you go to culinary school?
Amina> No, I didn’t
TMG> If you did not attend culinary school, where and how were you trained?
Amina> I learned and trained myself through the internet; I also watch different tutorials on YouTube.
TMG> How many employees report to you?
Amina> Three employees for now.
TMG> Who do you run to when you have any problem in your kitchen?
Amina> I go to my mum and some friends of mine that also bake.
TMG> What is your favorite cuisine to cook and Why?
Amina> Both traditional and foreign cuisines
TMG> What do you do to stay educated about new trends?
Amina> I watch food channels and read online
TMG> What do you do to ensure the quality of the doughnuts going out to customers?
Amina> I make sure the ingredients are of high quality and I taste samples before they go out.
TMG> How do you ensure/test the quality of your ingredients?
Amina> I don’t change the products I use and always check expiry dates. I make sure I buy products from the same place too.
TMG> Tell us about an accomplishment that you are most proud of in your career.
Amina> I was featured in a food magazine due to the quality of my product and I’m going to co-sponsor a show soon.
TMG> Describe a problem you had with an employee in the kitchen and how you handled it.
Amina> There was a time I gave instructions to one of my employees to mix some dough but unfortunately, she made a mistake by pouring alot more water than measured. I ended up making a new dough myself.
TMG> Tell us about your management style and how you handle your Customers?
Amina> I make sure I’m involved in almost all aspects of my product and monitor the workers by being friendly.
TMG> Tell us 3 things that you consider to be your strengths?
a)-My cooking skills
b)-My passion to succeed
TMG> Tell us something you would like to learn or improve upon in your kitchen?
Amina> I would like to upgrade my kitchen equipments from manual to automatic which will help me ease the stress.
TMG> What other things do you do as a Chef?
Amina> I’m currently doing a Postgraduate Course
TMG> Give us an example of someone you have trained or mentored. Where did they start and where are they now?
Amina> Her name is Maryam and she lives in Kaduna. She came all the way to learn how to make doughnuts from me and now she’s doing very well as expected and I’m vey proud of her.
TMG> How do you resolve the menu development and overall design?
Amina> I always try to create my own and make sure I present the best.
TMG> What are your challenges and how do you intend to handle them?
Amina> My worst challenge is when a customer places an order and when I call for them to pick up, they give excuses. Sometimes others will just cancel their orders at the last minute so I decided to change methods to payment when placing orders.
TMG> What positions have you previously held before being a Chef?
Amina> l have worked in a consultancy firm and as a classroom teacher before.
TMG> Who are your role models and what inspires you about them?
Amina> My role model is my Dad. He inspires me with his self- reliant attitude and he always encourages us to be self-dependent and to always read hard.
TMG> How do people react when they taste your doughnuts and what do they think of you as a chef?
Amina> People always compliment me after tasting my products and this spurs me to be better.
TMG> What way can you encourage other youths not to depend on government for jobs but to be self dependent?
Amina> The youth should try and discover what they’re good at and develop themselves. Over time, they could be better than employed people.
TMG> Do you have time to socialise and how?
Amina> Yes, I do. I love watching movies and use my phone to keep me entertained. That, I can say, is key to my doughnut’s success story.