Q&A with Harriet Mutenga
Empowering Women in Business
We interview female entrepreneur and King Pie franchisee, Harriett Mutenga this Women’s month
At King Pie, we are dedicated to building an exceptional family of franchisees and are proud to have over 295 outlets in South Africa and countries like Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. As we celebrate all women this month, and head towards Heritage Month in September, it is apt to showcase some of the phenomenal women who form part of our King Pie family.
Quality does not only relate to the freshness and tastes of our pies, but those who share the same purpose, dedication and passion for making this brand, Mzansi’s favourite pie. We are very proud of the calibre of business partners we entrust to run King Pie outlets as custodians of the company, and we work extremely closely with them to ensure an incredible King Pie experience for each customer who walks through the door.
As we head towards three decades as one of South Africa’s favourite brands, we will continue to endeavour to uplift and support each franchisee in their business pursuits as a member of the greater family. In saying this, we spoke to Harriet Mutenga, a strong woman who is not only a mother to two precious boys, but owns her own legal practise and two King Pie franchises in Gauteng, one at Cosmo City Mall; and the other one at the newly built Chuma Mall in Diepsloot.
With an exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, eye for business and as a woman of integrity, one who shares many of our values, Harriet is an extraordinary King Pie representative, one who exemplifies everything King Pie stands for.
Here’s what she has to say:
What do you love most about being part of the King Pie Family?
As a food lover myself, I love the experience that King Pie extends to its customers. The pies are absolutely delicious as the brand endeavours to give customers a fresh product every time they purchase. With the back-of-house knowledge I have as a franchisee, I know how well prepared the product is and marvel at the great effort directed towards giving customers not just a pie, but an experience. My boys are obsessed with the Sticky Rib Snack Pie and the chips. I love how the products cater for both adults and kids. I also love the support given to me by Head Office through my Franchise Manager- Jan Vilakazi.
What King Pie values do you associate with, and how do they affect how you run your stores?
Excellence is the all permeating value I associate with King Pie. Excellence in the freshly baked golden pies we bake, in how we display them, and in how we serve our customers in a very clean environment.
How have you achieved your success, with King Pie by your side?
2020 has been a turbulent year with the Covid-19 global pandemic. Together with King Pie’s Head Office team and my Franchise Manager, we have had to come up with innovative ways to keep the business running. The King Pie marketing department has assisted with ways of retaining and recruiting customers. One such popular way to entice customers, has been the King Pie mascot encouraging customers to visit the store e.g. dancing and handing out balloons and flyers. It works like a charm.
Do you have any words of wisdom for other women who would like to start their own business and become a King Pie franchisee?
As women, we can become whoever we want to be. Just like men; we can also be captains of industry, only we look better whilst at it! If you can see it and dream it, you can do it. Mental strength is the key to success. Rest assured that once you join the King Pie family, there are systems in place to help one succeed. Make use of them!
Why do you see King Pie as a good investment opportunity?
I have a strong interest in business as I believe in leaving a legacy for my children. Life is unpredictable and having multiple streams of income is prudent. It is for this reason that I invested in a King Pie franchise.
King Pie is a comparably affordable franchise, which gives an excellent return if the location of the store is conducive and the business is run effectively. As mentioned, I am an Advocate who now has to juggle both the business and a legal practice. Whilst the business is hands on, I love that it enables me to still be a lawyer, a businesswoman and a present mother.
What inspired you to expand with King Pie so soon after you joined the Family?
My Cosmo City store took off so well, despite the challenges that came with the pandemic. I have a great relationship with my Franchise Manager, and I learned a lot running my first store. With that knowledge, and considering that the business is viable, it made sense to expand. My fellow Gauteng franchisees have all been very helpful in helping me set up and in sharing business insights. I have made great business friends and King Pie feels like home.