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Tupo Namfood, Commercialising Traditional Food

Some of the most successful businesses were established due to a gap in the market, a gap where there is a demand but very little to no supply. Tupo Namfood is one of such businesses, with a focus on commercial traditional Oshiwambo foods. The local company sells an assortment of fruits, vegetables, poultry and butter/oils. Bottled and labelled products such as Omashikwa (cultured/sour milk), Odjove (Marula oil), Omaadi eengobe (cow butter), marathon chicken, and table eggs are some of the main products. The bottles and jars are branded and well presented.

Owner, Omwene Tupopila Haitula, established the business in 2017 when he saw the demand for the more traditional delicacies in other parts of the country but no reliable suppliers.

“We started giving out food to relatives and friends because we always had a surplus. Later we started selling Omaadi eengobe and Omashikwa. There was a high demand for these kinds of traditional foods, which was scarce, especially for people living outside the northern regions.” Tupopila told Biashara News.

What started off as an experiment has now become a well-run business, with its website where clients can shop online, and has now included many other products such as lemons, onions, green peppers, carrots, chicken and eggs, to mention a few. All the products are produced in Oshana Region. To keep the essence and taste Odjove, Tupopila’s grandmother still makes them. She makes it the same way it has been made for decades. For those who may not be familiar with the Ovambo delicacies, Odjove is the aromatic oil extracted from the nuts of the Marula tree, it is healthy and can be used in the same way one would use olive oil in foods. It goes better with most of the dried and fresh varieties of traditional vegetables, as well as meats. The rest of the products are produced on the family farm.

Tupo Namfood has two branches, one in Oshakati and another in Windhoek. Although the business is run on a small scale, it does not compromise on customer satisfaction and service delivery. Tupopila runs the business himself on a full-time basis.

“I have a certificate in Management and Taxation from the International University of Management (IUM) and am now in the final year of my Local Government Studies course at the University of Namibia (UNAM). I never got a job after I graduated from IUM, and so I thought the business would be a good idea since there was already a demand. ” He explained.

Due to the pandemic, the business has transitioned to online selling, where clients can place an order from anywhere on the website and arrange to either pick up their purchase at the two shops or have it delivered to them.

“My vision for Tupo Namfood is to have our products in major retail stores countrywide and increase production. By far, the biggest order we have had was 30 bottles of Odjove. We do everything ourselves, the preparation, as well as packaging. Right now, getting the stock from granny’s place is also a challenge at times.”

Other than that, the business has a working system.

In the mood for cow butter? You no longer have to wait until you go to Ovamboland to enjoy your favourite delicacies. Tupo Namfood is just a call away. Check out www.tuponamfood.com for more on how to order, what products are available, their prices and where to find them. Or you can give Tupo a call at +26481 436 3040 for your order.

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