Cooking up a storm
Updated: Mar 2
A natural businesswoman and an entrepreneur by heart, Mama Pare is representative of a lot of African businesswomen. She, like many has not been able to rely on inheritance or money from her family, has had to pave her own way. She has used her talent for cooking as the foundation for a business that she has created and developed herself and runs with her family.
A stone’s throw away from Lake Manyara
The business model is simple, attract weary travellers and locals and feed them well. Her farm and restaurant are located in a small forest, a stone’s throw away from Lake Manyara. Here she grows her organic ingredients which she uses in her cooking. The restaurant is shaded by banana, avocado and papaya trees and is found by taking a guided walk through the beautiful surroundings.
The intimate spirit and warmth of an African home
The restaurant is made from very traditional, simple methods. This captures the intimate spirit and warmth of an African home. The buffet is presented in locally made clay pots that hold a variety of different dishes, including many options for vegetarians and vegans. The dishes often feature okra, aubergine, plantain, sweet potatoes and beans, all sourced as locally as possible. The price is humble for the quality of the food.
Mama Pare started off by assisting in the construction of streams nearby. Here she developed the idea of selling tea to the construction workers in order to create a little more money for herself. As this business grew one of the workers was impressed with her initiative and suggested she started selling food as well.
This was only the beginning. She started with what she knew which was the traditional, local dishes that she could cook. Some friends from Belgium and the Netherlands started referring their clients and many where impressed by her work. From there the business grew and now the restaurant is a busy hub of tourists and locals all wanting to try Mama Pare’s delicious dishes.
Next Mama Pare wants to continue to grow her business build a restaurant that caters and invite clients from both locally and internationally to encourage them to embrace and enjoy Tanzanian cultures and traditions.
"Everything grows with a little faith and good effort"
For businesswomen starting out her advice is that ‘people should stick to their goals and never give up, everything grows with a little faith and good effort.’
Mama Pare is an excellent example of how African women can grown and develop their own businesses and become very successful while encouraging other women that they can succeed. Perhaps the best thing about the restaurant is its very simple premise, to feed people and feed them well, but it is the innovation of businesswomen like Mama Pare that helps to inspire other women that they too can succeed.
Mama Pare’s is very popular, so make sure to book in advance to secure a place.