My Brand Story

Memories are made every time; your morning is now a memory. My brand holds strongly on my childhood memories since they revolved around snacks and how they were made with love. My Name is Rose Gikuru and I was raised in my grandmother’s kitchen. It was not only a basic kitchen but also a kitchen that told a story. It was a kitchen that advocated for passion, quality and that was built on resilience. I hold my greatest memories of my grandmother who was very passionate about making breakfast. I remember since 2003 when I started making frequent visits to my grandmother’s place; I would enjoy her cakes, mandazi and pancakes which she made with so much love.

According to my grandmother, breakfast was the most important meal of the day and this made her in her 80s wake up at 5 am every day and make breakfast for the family. She was diabetic so her cakes and mandazis were low-sugar (Almost sugarless), which made us complain a lot; but what did I pick from her?
I went to campus and did Food Science and Technology which made me understand that despite the low-sugar cakes and mandazi she made, quality was the main aspect of her snacks. Her cakes were quality since as a food scientist I see they had the same consistency, flavour, aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and appearance. I also picked up passion, since as an 80-year-old diabetic woman she would either sleep late or wake up early in the morning to make cakes for breakfast. Resilience was also a lesson I picked since as a diabetic person her health was not stable but she still took the initiative of making breakfast.

Building my brand; Crave Eats Kitchen I have embraced passion, quality and resilience, and this has made me get premium recipes that keep my customers coming back and asking for more. I have made them crave so much more and this is what has built my business into a sustainable bakery. I take the lessons from my grandmother’s kitchen since I believe I am not limited to the struggles of building a brand since the business world is not a walk in the park.
I am proud to have built a cake brand that is inclined on bouncing back and give the best. My vision is to build a physical location for my brand where people can walk in and enjoy the aroma of the baked goods as they have some cake and share their stories. I want as people walk in and out of my business they can feel the passion, quality and resilience that my brand is built on.

At Crave Eats Kitchen we satisfy all cake cravings as we live to tell the story. #food #health #quality #sustainable #sleep #building #brand #lapidleader #courageiscalling

Facing the Workplace

The journey towards growing your career begins with a conversation bound to determine your fate. The conversation involves basic word exchange; it involves the treasure hunt for skills and competence. On one side of the table is an individual who thinks they are very desperate for the job, making them very nervous to even answer the questions asked. On the other side, a person or rather a team is there to make sure the company does not regret the candidates they select. Yes! These are two individuals who have the same goal, seeking excellence. On the one hand, the candidate wants to make an impression; on the other hand, the panel wants to pick the best. Therefore, the conversation between the two teams leads to the ultimate goal.

Pic of me during the mock interview at LLU

Going through the Mock Interviews made me understand that interviews are just conversations between two teams that don’t know each other and are trying to know each other. Understanding this gave me the confidence to be calm and take time to think through the questions. Most importantly, I learned that one should breathe; yes! Breathe when talking or answering questions since this boosts the confidence one can have when answering questions. Thanks to Lapid Leaders Africa, I understood the key skills interviewers look for during interviews, which made sure that I gave relevant answers. At the same time, I learned the importance of bringing my executive presence during the interviews. Therefore, my career goals will take shape since I can penetrate the marketplaces that I want to venture into.

Most Importantly Start…

They say if you want it go for it… And, I say go for it with all that you’ve got.

Life has not been a silver lining for me, I had to work extra hard to at least find a good stance in life. Deep in the roots of Embu, life was what you made it in the sense that if you relax things would turn against you.

I am not the child who enjoyed the best toys, swimming in the weekend, watching cartoons (I heard about most of the childhood cartoons when I was in highschool), even the best hairstyles. I was not that kid, since my life was basic in that I could enjoy a plate of githeri everyday lunchtime and ugali with kienyeji greens in the evening. That was our basic meal. I would say the only luxury I had growing up was taking a glass of milk every day but, that was possible since we had dairy cows.Not to forget the 7 kilometers that I had to walk to school every morning and evening. Wow! I have come from far and this is a story I embrace.

So why am I saying all this? My humble growing up gave me the chance to be a multi-talented child who embraced growth. I developed interests in soft skills that would help me grow. I learned and gain interest in baking since my Grandmother used to bake us some nice cakes and mandazi during Christmas. This is something that I envied and, I promised myself to learn and keep the baking spirit high in the family courtesy of my Grandma (May her soul rest in eternal peace). I also learned writing since my aunt was a literature teacher who would encourage me to do various writeups. These skills have grown over time and now I can categorize myself as a very good baker and writer due to the interest that I gained while I was growing up.

What have I really done to make this a great achievement?I started my baking journey in class six (2010) whereby I could bake some cupcakes and sell to shops for resale. This did not stop even after joining highschool since I used my holidays to make cakes. My first big achievement came when I got a tender to supply cup cakes and mandazi to Embu University canteen.I still hold this moment dearly since I was just a form one student who just hard a passion for baking and, boom I got a tender. I was not perfect since I used to get returns, but I did it with love and improved with time. Now I am running a bakery shop (Crave Eats Kitchen). This is a baby that I hold close to my heart since I had the fear of starting a business.. But the moment I posted my advert poster, I got very many orders flowing my way. Indeed the journey that began back in 2010 is my greatest and the dearest achievement I have had.

I will close by saying, you don’t have to be perfect, you just need to start and learn very first.

Gikuru The Superhero

Have you ever thought about yourself as a superhero? It fascinates me how we all have superpowers in our own niche. I take the example of the hand you use for writing, one person might write so well with their right hand while the other can use their left hand perfectly. The goal is the same but the process is different. Not to mention the handwritings whereby we all have unique handwritings and it is so hard to have people with similar handwriting. Take a while and reflect on the writing styles and see how actually we are all superpowers.

Reflecting on my life I see myself as a superhero since I possess the three most important skills in my life. I see myself as creative, flexible, and determined, not only in my career but also in my personal life. my creative capacity has enabled me to be in spaces where I demonstrate my skill in baking and cake decoration. Not to mention that I have embraced creative diversity in mat weaving, crocheting, and DIY home decor. Hahaha, even farming I see it as a creative opportunity, Ask me why? Farming everyone has their story, but I tend to recreate my own story and experience mark you recreating as the story is never easy when you aren’t creative enough. Enough of creativity since I can talk, and talk, and talk about it the entire day.

Flexibility is a great superpower that I hold, I have seen myself adapt so fast in volatile environments. My life journey has been volatile from growing up till now when am in pursuit of my career. “Start afraid, and learn very fast” has been my slogan for quite some time now, and I believe flexibility has given me the power and capacity to learn and adapt in spaces. My Food Science and Technology career is diverse and by this mean it keep on changing in terms of technologies or designs one uses in the food production line. Taking the segment of baking and pastry, there are a lot of changes that come by that require someone to be very flexible so as to fit in the market perfectly. Now, do you see that my creative and flexibility skills are interconnected? A changing world requires new tactics to solve the problems that are ahead of you, developing the new tactics requires creativity, and the ability to adapt the new tactics as well as the changing world requires flexibility. I wish WordPress had emojis since I would use so many themes here, hahaha.

Last but not least, determination is integral in the VUCA world, without determination, I would not have the capacity to create things over and over again. I would not have the capacity to bounce back whenever I fail since I do not always win. As a matter of fact, I lose 60% of my trials and only win 40%. So what keeps me from not breaking from the 60% losses I get is determination. Through determination, I have connected creativity and Flexibility as my main tools of maneuvering through life.

Determination is the wake-up call to the human will.

Tony Robbins

Sometimes I feel that we humans underestimate the power that we all have since we tend not to be satisfied with the little we have rather we admire our mates. True be told that a freelancer would prefer the life of an 8-5 worker and vice versa. This implies that we all see that the challenges we are all facing right not are lesser if we were a different person. Like Esther Mwaniki, I will tell you “Hard things are hard” so keep embracing your superpower since you are great in the capacity that you are in.

Effortlessly Great

By Squad Firebirds

Good is comfortable, and comfort is dangerous; blending in is simple, standing out within a crowd takes a personal initiative, cultured discipline, consistent results, and sustainable data. Some are born Great; some go through a process to become great, the methods might differ, but there must be a process (The Power of Process). It’s the ultimate heat experience that will make you glow amidst the uncertainty, past, and present. From the book Good to Great by Jim Collins and more reference books, Chapter one was a good preview and a summary of what to expect across the book, never mind the analogy of a business view, the concept would apply for all of us.

good or great

Most institutions fail to reach their greatness because the only available standard to measure the quality of something they have had experience with is good and not great. Most of the time, we limit our expectations. We are unwilling to take a higher step only because we believe in goodness, a socially constructed theory to bar one from reaching greatness.

There is a lot of material on success, but the most important of all is exploring the contrasts in studying success. There is a big difference between basic goodness and moral greatness in the company, mainly brought out by the people, their thoughts, and actions. To gear a company to the success of primary importance, understand the strength and niche over all other companies. Sift the team players based on their discipline, strength, and ability so that they can finally take up the brainstormed task. This guarantees greatness because there is the maximization of power.

Be faithful to which exists nowhere but in yourself thus make yourself indispensable

_Andre Gide

The uncertainty at the moment and the ambiguity in the VUCA world we are in means change is inevitable. The concept (internal) such as your values and strengths are the same for the better part of your life around. The business analogy is more comprehensive enough for you and me to sing along and toss ourselves both on values and strengths and figure out how we can get Great sustainable results for a given period, on personal and our brands.
Natural or innate greatness is hard to come across, but as many of us would fall under, good people are all around; a phone call away can get you, several good people. Here is the kicker though, the Good you can become Great you. But we will have to gather your constituency over an unlucky period, compare you with your mates, and if you fall short, you can still learn as long as the willingness is there. The discipline to put in the accepted field, ethics, and moral strength are just among the few values that can move you from your comfort zone to sustainable greatness for you and your future life.
Your level of greatness is strongly dependent on your perception of what great is. Justice is suitable for a marathon runner fleeing from a mob, but that can be great for the physically disabled. Our greatness is determined by our vision and ability to conquer more steps ahead as we wait for even more significant challenges.

Self Reflection Journal

  1. What am I good at in my career?

I am a food scientist/technologist, and I am good at processing beverages and baked goods. I enjoy making beverages like fresh juice, yogurt, and shakes. I also take baking as a passion, and I tend to try baking new things every time.

  1. What do I feel that I will never be good at?

I feel I will never be good at mineral analysis of food and checking for their counter effects. I struggled with this while in school, and when I was doing my project, I had to seek help from a classmate. Through this struggle, I feel that mineral analysis of food kind of intimidates me. I tell myself that if I open a food company one day, I will have to look for an employee who has excellent experience checking for mineral analysis in food.

  1. What was I not good at but became good at with time?

I was not very good at checking the endpoint of food processes. Sometimes I would exceed the time limit, and other times I would stop the process when the time was not yet. I had to practice the indicators of food processing endpoints, and I have become good with time. I noticed that without master endpoints points, I would make products that are not consistent in quality, which would look bad for a company. Hence I took the initiative to practice, and now I am confident about checking for various endpoints of food processes.

  1. How do I act towards others in my workplace?

It is essential I develop a teamwork spirit; hence I remind myself to always collaborate with everyone. People have different believes and values, and I tend to respect their boundaries. I also try my best to set boundaries with my colleagues to help in promoting a healthy work environment. I also have conversations with my fellow workmates and ensure we address any issues that we come across together. Lastly, I tend to appreciate the efforts of my fellow team players since I believe it calls for patience and commitment to work together.

  1. Are there colleagues who are more open to talking about challenges or one who shies away from challenges?

Most of my colleagues share when they have challenges; it is only one who shies away from sharing challenges.

  1. What have I told myself about their behavior?

I have told myself that it is essential to respect the belief of my colleagues since that is what helps in growing a healthy working environment. Also, I have told myself that it is wise to brainstorm with people who air their challenges to provide sustainable solutions. For the person who shies away from talking about challenges, I have felt that I need to create a trusting environment to make them more comfortable to share the challenges they are facing. I have felt that it is not suitable for individuals to hold their challenges since we can work to solve them. On the other hand, I feel that everyone has the right to share what they are struggling with or not. Hence when dealing with these two sets of people, I am mindful of the tone I use to avoid offending them, and I tend to give them time to air their issues before I can give my opinion.

Lead Self and Beyond

Leading myself amid uncertainty

Why Lapid?

I first heard aout Lapid Leaders Africa from a friend who was already doing the Lead Self Pillar. At this point, I was clearing campus and I was on the road of “What Next?” As I listened to her explain what the pillar is all about, I gained more interest in the program. What caught my eye before application was one phrase she shared, “In Lapid Leaders Africa, you have to grow a hard skin since the pillar stretches you to your full potential.” I felt that I really needed some stretching in life and that made me choose Lapid as my stretcher. Moving forward I embraced the modules that were being offered in the program.

Modules that Stood Out:

  • Re-Imagine Africa
  • Opportnities In Africa
  • Design thinking
  1. Re-Imagine Africa

Reimagine Africa 4 (Story telling) stood out sinceI learnt the importance of my story. I have never been intentional about internalizing my story. I believe my Narrative Identiy is unique and it has shaped my current self. We all should learn to own and redeem our stories. We can edit, revise and interpret the stories we tell about our life. I believe every episode in my life has impacted my general growth as an individual.

In story editing I took home four points:

  • Spending time with myself.
  • Get honest with myself
  • Considering how I make people feel.
  • Determining what I have to offer.

2. Opportunities in Africa

After the Opportunities in Africa class, I learned that Africa has a lot of untapped opportnities. As youths we need to be creative enough to look into ways we can tap these opportunites. Just like Hope Mwinzi Says “I consider Africa as my playground” I would affirm that we need to consider opportunites around our continent. So the big question, What can we do to tap these opportunities? I would say having an imaginative mindset and building relations in Africa.

Action Plan:

  • Stop being Convectional
  • Start creating solutions
  • Believing in myself

3. Design Thinking

Through Design thinking I was able to see projects in a different dimensionon. Mr. Emmanuael made me think about our social entrepreneurship in a different dimension. understanding that I have to solve a real problem is important since this is a major mistake that business owners tend to make. I have to fit in the shoe of the consumer to learn what they need and deliver. Asking the “WHY?” question is very important since it helps you evaluate the viability of the business. It is only through design thinking that ideas can be brought into a reality.

When I Look Back

When I look back, I feel that I have really achived a lot, I have become very intetional with my life, since I pay details to very specific things. I have embraced time management thus I rarely procrastinate. I push myself to create something since I do not want to relie on a consumer mindset. I see a lot of transformation in myself since I have discovered that I have a purpose in this world. I have also learned how to network more and build connections within my region. The entrepreneurship modules helped me understand how to better my skill in business and build ideas that won’t colapse. Lastly, I would say that the three months I spent in lead self were very significant in my life since they have given me a sense of direction in my journey after graduation.

I look at Lapid as a light that was shed in my life. After campus life I would look at it as a stage of confusion where we tend to do alot of things. Through Lapid, I was able to shed some light in my life since I was able to have focus in life. I was able to embrace my love for entrepreneurship and through the modules covered in Lead Self, I gained skills that would enable me maneuver through the entrepreneurship docket. Lapid deliverables make it possible for me to think outside the box and find solutions for the problems presented to me.

My Squad Members

Tushiyah Squad

I look at Tushiyah and I see the art of never giving up. I understand that there is light in everything we do. My squad memebers helped me understand the importance of supporting each other, taking responsibilities and being accountable for each other. Through my squad members, I was able to embrace balance in my Lapid Experience since we had our serious moments and our fun time. Going through the Lead Self pillar was through the support I got from my squad members as well as the Lapid team. We built a competitive spirit and not a single day passed without trying to better ourselves. My squad members helped me embrace my strenghts (Being outgoing and reponsible) and helped me better my communication skills through the presentations we had as a squad. Tushiyah members are my heros!

Thank You Lapid!

Create your website with
Get started