Brownie business booms in lockdown

Raniya Khan and her popular brownies.

Nineteen-year-old Raniya Khan’s quest for the perfect brownie hasn’t just titillated taste-buds, it’s also put extra cash in her pocket.

The young Crawford woman has turned her brownies into a business – The Brownie Box.

The University of the Western Cape political-science student was studying online during lockdown when she found herself thinking about how she could make extra pocket money.

She soon found inspiration from her relatives in Johannesburg, the Hendricks family, who were selling food.

“They inspired me to make brownies,” says Raniya, a former Wynberg Girls’ High pupil.

“However, it took a bit long to find the perfect brownie. After trying out different recipes, some were either too moist or too cake-like, but I eventually made the perfect brownie, which I enjoyed.”

But every young entrepreneur needs support, and Raniya’s family had her back.

“We had to make 80 boxes of 12 brownies per box, for Eid, and we stayed up the whole night packaging the brownies,” she recalls.

The eldest of five girls, Raniya was able to get her sisters, Yusrah, Salma, Nabeela and Naazia, working on the brownie-packaging production line.

“My mother, Gadeeja, helped, and my auntie, Baheeja Taliep, who is an accountant, assisted in working out the costing of packaging, electricity used and other costs.”

Her father, Roshan, made sure the customers who came to collect their orders were screened for Covid-19.

And her uncle, Zaheed Khan, who owns Aneesa’s Takeaways in Wynberg, trawled the internet to get her good deals on her brownie ingredients.

Raniya used Instagram and her mom’s Facebook account to advertise her brownies.

It wasn’t long before the brownie business was booming and orders for brownies iced with different toppings started rolling in.

Ranyia says she is trying to set a target number of brownies to make each week to keep her business’s momentum going.

So what is she doing with her money? Well she isn’t splashing out on shoes and clothes.

“I’ve put it in a savings account,” she says, adding that the rest goes into buying packaging and other supplies for the business.

Her advice to other young people is: “We must realise that we are going to face hardships, but we need to fight through obstacles and keep going.”