If you are a lover of finer things, and you follow some of the best social media accounts, then you definitely must have heard of @msbunny0. Or maybe you’re not, and you don’t, which is fine. Because I had a wonderful chat with her, and she’s just as bright and amazing as her work. Who is she, you ask? Well, she’s one of the first few Namibians making packaged food boxes on order for different clients. Before you ask what’s so special about that, let me tell you it’s because you have never seen or experienced the magic of her hands.
A peek on @msbunny0’s (real name Ester, but prefers to go by Andoone) Instagram page is so appetizing, enough to derail a strict dieter. She has gotten the content algorithm right down to the tee, every post perfection in various boxes of scrumptious foods, sweet and savory snacks, all put together with very loving and knowing hands. Knowing, because that is no amateur work, every slab of cheese, roll of sausage and bagel intentionally positioned.
Andoone makes different love boxes of food for clients for different occasions. Love in one box, is what she calls them. Each box is made according to the specifications of the client. Sometimes clients call knowing exactly what they want, other times they don’t really know and have to be prompted.
“There are clients who would call and they know exactly what they want you to put in the box, other times they give you own discretion. Giving me full discretion actually does make sense regardless but I always prefer that they at least give one item that the person they are gifting loves so it makes the box that much more special. Some clients have the weirdest combination for their boxes that complicates the pairing of the food items, so I try to guide them to have a box with food items that compliment each other.
Her love for preparing great food has a very humble beginning. She was raised in Windhoek by her Godmother, and remembers that in her childhood they could only afford to have either meat or fish as relish per meal. Not too many options. She was amazed to discover while watching a Chinese cooking show on NBC one day that there were so many different ways to prepare chicken. That’s when she began experimenting with different foods, and spices. Her first attempt at preparing pap ended in tears, but her Godmother who got her started on cooking made all her cousins eat up that pap as bad as it was, this boosted her confidence in cooking. But today her Godmother is her biggest fan.
“Since I learnt to cook, I’ve always prepared extra food for people. How the whole love box idea came about was when a friend and I were going on a trip, and we were going to drive late, so I thought it was a good idea to just put together different snacks into a box. It was a travel love box of what we were going to eat on the way, just to avoid stopping along the way too many times just to buy food. I’m actually a very picky eater. Most of the stuff I make in the love boxes I don’t even eat.” Said Andoone
The boxes differ not only on the contents but also what they may mean to both the giver and the one receiving it. Sometimes clients just want to surprise their significant others with gestures of love. One way to a man’s heart, right? Other times, they are given as padkos gifts, there are PMS love boxes, study love boxes, babalas (hangover) love boxes, travel love boxes, and the list goes on. A box can be whatever the sender wants it to be, and so there is no limit to creativity.
Professionally, Andoone is a Human Resource Practitioner for the Ministry of Education and currently winding up her Honors in Logistics and Supply Chain Demand. A woman blessed with gifts. Considering this and just how much love she pours into making each love box, one would assume that turning the business into a large scale operational business, is a definite plan.
“Maybe it can be, someday. But for now, it’s just something I love doing. It’s a hobby that supplements my salary. People don’t have much spending power anymore. And also, I love that I get to add a personal touch to each box. I’m a control freak. I have in mind that every box that goes out has my name on it and I want clients to know that it was personally prepared by me. That’s why when I have bigger orders and I need assistance, I would ask my cousins to help out with smaller tasks like chopping onions, or handing an already made box to a client, and so on. Assembling one box used to take much longer, but now with enough practice, knowledge of how and where to position each item, a box can take a good 30 to 40 minutes.”
That can’t be stressed enough. She buys most of her ingredients from Maerua Mall Spar and Woolworths, for the best quality products, and prefers to prepare most of the foods herself.
Just as with any other business, it has downsides too. Clients sometimes change their minds or cancel their orders at the very last minute, or may only come to pick up their boxes late which might lead to some foods spoiling. All these cause frustrations in business. But the saving grace is that she has a good client base.
“My clients are basically people who are trying to make an impression. Mostly young lady customers. When guys complain that ladies don’t do much in relationships, I laugh because they obviously don’t know what they’re talking about. ”
It’s one thing to hear about someone, and another to actually experience them. To understand better what Andoone does, you have to get yourself a good love box. Or simply follow her for cooking tips.
Find her on Instagram: