“When life presents you with lemons, take the opportunity to create lemonade” is a well-known adage that encourages individuals to maintain a positive outlook and make the most of challenging situations. Janet Chepkoech, a resident of Kericho, serves as an exemplary embodiment of this saying, as she navigated a tough phase in her life and ingeniously conceived a business idea that generated substantial income.
Initially, Chepkoech worked as a porridge vendor, sharing in a previous interview that she entered this field to financially support her family, given her role as the primary breadwinner and her absence of formal employment. After establishing herself in the industry, she built a loyal customer base, including traders from various parts of the city and government officials from Kericho County.
Remarkably, Chepkoech reported earning up to Sh4,000 per day, translating to over Sh100,000 per month if she worked six days a week. She shared, “On a prosperous day, I vend 10 liters of porridge—comprising 5 liters of fermented and 5 liters of non-fermented porridge. Each cup is priced at Sh20, and I manage to sell more than 100 chapatis before mid-morning, allowing me to make Sh4,000 a day.”
With this level of income, she can save, participate in table banking organizations, and provide for her family. To ensure her products are ready for delivery to customers, Chepkoech starts her day in the early morning hours, a testament to her dedication.
Having been in the industry for over five years, Chepkoech emphasized that her top priority is educating and supporting her children. She attributed her business success to consistently meeting customer expectations, receiving positive feedback, and maintaining open communication with her clientele. She noted, “Maintaining high hygiene standards and cultivating friendly relationships with customers have been key to my success. I also ensure that I meet my customers’ expectations and treat them with the respect they deserve.”
Like any enterprise, Chepkoech’s business faced significant challenges, with the COVID-19 pandemic being one of the most formidable obstacles. Stringent government containment measures severely impacted her business, but through resilience and adaptability, she managed to recover.