It’s just about the exact same time last year we announced the launch of a web startup called ZimboKitchen.com. At initial contact, we had good hunch on their potential of this and fast forward a year later, ZimboKitchen.com is right there among the top startups in Zimbabwe for 2013.
Co-founded by the couple Aurther and Rumbidzai Shoko, ZimboKitchen is a culinary blog specialising in Zimbabwean cuisine for both Zimbabweans here at home and those scattered abroad. The site provides precision step-by-step cooking tutorials and judging by user comments, the site is set to be a big hit.
Thanks to a bit of paid advertising, ZimboKitchen’s facebook page launched just over a year ago now has over 21,000 followers. This is way more than Spar Zimbabwe, GTel, NetOne and TV Sales & Home which all have greater mass appeal. For a niche blog like ZimboKitchen, this is a huge feat and the best part is that half of that growth in followers is all organic.
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ZimboKitchen it has over 50,000 page views in a month and publishes over 25 unique recipes each month. The content is clearly engaging and they rarely publish anything that does not flood with user comments. Although Rumbi does the bulk of the writing, they also publish material from other contributors that have a truly unique recipe they want published.
Although the startup is not making as much money as they would want (natural for tech startups), they are happy with the feedback the website has achieved and their passion for the venture has made it easy for them to hang-on despite the little financial gain.
Aurther said they will be shifting their revenue focus from advertising and starting from next week, they will have available recipes for download that users will have to pay for to access.
ZimboKitchen was the runner up to the 2013 edition if the ZOL Startup challenge and Aurther Shoko has said the team at ZimboKitchen has a lot to take from the experience and it is already starting to reshape their business.
Since the startup challenge, ZimboKitchen has remodeled their brand by making Rumbidzai the center of the brand. This has seen the team of a smiling Rumbidzai on their Facebook cover and the website header which has made the brand more personal and true to their “hukama igasva unozadziswa nehukama” pay-off line.
Although Rumbidzai is the face of the brand and the brains behind the food, she also has working knowledge of some technical skills needed to run a web startup. Before ZimboKitchen she worked in internet marketing field and this allowed for an easy transition to the now full time digital kitchen.