Fanta Mbemba is the owner and founder of African Foood, a food catering and delivery service based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Born and raised in the capital city, the 29-year-old is of Congolese and Guinean descent. A life-long lover of food and cooking, she recalls trying her hand at creating different meals from the time she was just a little girl.
“Everyone in my family, especially my mother, cooks very well,” said Fanta. “I think I started playing with food when I was five, just because I’ve always loved doing it. I used to make everyone in my surroundings taste what I’d made and work to improve it until they loved it. I never thought of it as a talent. As the years went by, I got better with hard work. Later on, people began requesting my food.”
Fanta credits her friends and family with providing the motivation that inspired her to start her company. Receiving so many compliments about her cooking from them ultimately led Fanta to create a lunch delivery service in 2019.
With both Central and West African roots, she wanted to provide a way to allow people to discover the cuisines from both regions of the continent. Fanta soon decided to not only deliver regular lunches, but real homemade food from all over the world, especially from Africa. Thus, African Foood was born.
“My cuisine is very diverse. I try to discover different types of cuisines and add them to my menus. At African Foood, you can eat African cuisine on Monday, Indian cuisine on Tuesday, and European cuisine on Wednesday.”
African Foood became successful, not only because of the delicious flavors of the food, but also due to the variety of cuisines that were being offered. Many people became interested through word of mouth and by seeing the presentation of the food through photos. Fanta’s meals became quite popular and highly sought after.
Unfortunately, after a year of business, she began to suffer from burn out and had to stop working for a period of time. But the demand never stopped, and customers made it clear that their desire for African Foood would not subside.
“This made me realize that African Foood wasn’t just some small food delivery service, but a whole business. I decided to hire staff and share the workload. The business grew from only lunch deliveries around the city of Kinshasa, to catering for parties and events, even outside the country.”
Among African Foood’s most popular dishes are Thieb, a West African dish, and Poisson Braisé à la Congolaise, which is fish grilled the Congolese way. Fanta’s passion and ideas continue growing alongside her business. Her vision is to one day open a restaurant where people can enjoy cuisines from all over the world in a clean and entertaining environment.
For next year, Fanta is working on a new menu that she promised will take customers somewhere they’ve never been. African Food is currently open Monday through Saturday. The menu changes weekly, and orders must be put in the day before your desired delivery. For more information, follow @africanfoood on Instagram.