‘See failure as a tool to be better’ – Nicole Parfitt

Updated on 18 February 2016

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'See failure as a tool to be better' - Nicole Parfitt

Company Profile
Name of company: Ginger Apple
Years in existence: 3
Position: CEO and head chef
Location: Pretoria

Can you tell us a little bit about your company and what you do? 

With over 10 years’ experience in the field of culinary consulting, we have the expertise to provide consulting services to restaurants and coffee shops. This offering includes menu development and design, budgeting and kitchen layout.

Our offerings also include: Ginger Apple’s Cooking for Friends, a daily service that delivers fresh, wholesome, home-cooked meals to homes. We also have an order to freeze option. We also cater for parties and events.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background – personal, educational and professional?

I am a Pretoria girl. I studied at Prue Leith Food and Wine College to become a chef. I just loved it and after graduation, I started working for the Rhapsody’s Group. I spent 11 years with them and eventually become the head chef for the Franchise Group. After much decision, I decided to open my own catering and home cooked meal delivery company.

What were some of the obstacles you faced starting out, and how did you overcome them?

Financing was definitely an obstacle, it’s not easy to get financing for a small business. Another challenge was logistics. As a chef, I had to learn very quickly about the logistics involved.

How many people does your company employ? 


What is your overall vision for your business?

To provide a healthy daily meal delivery service across South Africa. I want the Ginger Apple product and service to spread like good news. Because that’s exactly what it is – good news about healthy, delicious meals.

We also want to be one of SA’s leading on-trend caterers. Food is like fashion, trendy and there are must have items. I want to be the Chanel of the catering industry.

What do you think it takes to establish and run a successful business in South Africa? 

Perseverance, faith and passion.

How did you finance your business, how difficult or easy was the process?  

I had to get personal financing and eventually found financial partners and investors to help.

When did you know that you were an entrepreneur? 

When I realised that I felt so strongly about my ideas and was never ready to let them go. I always tried to put new ideas into my bosses’ businesses.

Entrepreneurship is like talent – you are either born with it or not, (or can do your best to learn as much about it as possible). So I always knew I was an entrepreneur.

How would you describe your leadership style?  

I would say I’m a mix between visionary and democratic.

What three pieces of advice would you offer young entrepreneurs starting out today?

– Never ever give up.
– Don’t see any disaster or challenge as a failure but rather as a tool to be better.
– Enjoy every second of the journey.

What do you wish you had known starting out? 

That it’s all worth it in the end. There were some very dark days – just push through and everything will work out.

And finally, do you believe in luck, hard work or both? 

No luck – hard work and faith.

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