Babanaga sauce is the brainchild of Mills Ali (CEO Babanaga); it started in his café, on Vallance Road, as an accompaniment to the food being prepared there. It soon developed a loyal following, within six months people started to request extra tubs and containers to take home with.
I started with making one pot of sauce a week, and then it became every two days, and then we started to use even bigger pots. That's what inspired me to produce in large volumes for commercial purposes.
We produced our first batch of 3000 bottles in 2011. My reason for this was for the purpose of market research and to gage the product's viability and acceptance and to insure if the rest of the masses felt the same euphoric sentiments, and tastes as I did about the sauce, before getting head over heels.
I managed to get a lot of help from my friends and family to make the first batches. I had around 44 shops that would display the product with no obligation on a 'sale or return basis'.
The bottles sold very well, in fact the feedback was so positive and encouraging, I managed to sell the 3000 bottles within 4 – 5 weeks, leaving the shopkeepers looking for more. I then naturally progressed to the next stage, which was to mass-producing and marketing the sauce to a wider community. At which point we managed to secure a location for the production and storing the finished product under one roof.
Now, Babanaga is a household name, and still growing. The rest is history, as they say.