Her first step was to test the market. To compliment her small salary and to feed her family, Melba started selling food from her home in the evenings and over the weekends.In 1991, she began her business with just three women – herself and her two daughters. With hard work, dedication and an increasing if small income, Melba was able to help her daughters complete University. One achieved her B-‐Tech in Tourism and the other one is now a lawyer.
￼By 2013, Melba’s business, the Otjikaendu Den, has grown to include a work force of 17 staff. Her food ranges from Vetkoek, Matangara, Smiley’s, Pap, to Vleis, to mention just but a few.
Melba has received several honours. She was named Business Woman of the Year in 2002 and Traditional Chef of the Year in 2007.
Well known as the Mother of Smiley’s, Melba Tjahere said she serves her community and her business has grown to cater to corporate clients and tourists who embark upon Katatura tours. She is proud to treat them to traditional cuisine, and with this aspect of her business increasing clearly tourists are equally consumed by eating her delicious traditional food!
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