Corn Dogs

HOW A BIRTHDAY PARTY LAUNCHED A FROZEN CORN DOG BUSINESS

It’s not often a business idea is born out of a spontaneous catering decision during an 11th birthday party, resulting in many months of experimentation, determination and hard work. For a husband-and-wife team from Bryanston this however was the case.

 

  • Browns Foods is the brainchild of Mabel and Wale Akinlabi.
  • 100 Checkers stores now stock the famous corn dogs in three different flavour variations.
  • Browns Corn Dogs are looking to expand their range, starting with a fully vegan corn dog offering.
  • Visit www.sandtontimes.co.za for more stories.

 

For Mabel and Wale Akinlabi, their Browns Corn Dogs journey started humbly – in the Akinlabi home kitchen on their daughter’s birthday.

 

During our daughter’s 11th birthday party I yanked out corn dogs that I was making. The kids loved these things, and I asked them all: ‘If we make these would you ask your parents to buy you some?’ and the answer was an emphatic ‘Yes!’”.

// Browns Corn Dogs Creator, Mabel Akinlabi

 

Corn dogs originated in the United States and are commonly found on American menu’s. A corn dog is made by taking a sausage, placing it on a stick, coating it in a thick layer of cornmeal batter and then deep frying it until golden brown.

 

Off the back of the birthday party, they founded Browns Foods in 2019 with a single corn dog product. While testing and perfecting their recipe, they approached the Shoprite Group and struck a deal with buyer Promise Mpele.

 

Corn Dogs

Promise said that they try their best to support young black business, and they really really have. He held our hand the whole way and took us through the entire process.

// Browns Corn Dogs Co-Creator, Wale Akinlabi

 

From a single corn dog made and presented on a chopstick, the two corn dog creators then built up their business over the course of a year, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. They imported equipment from the United States, set up a factory, and refined the recipe. As the Akinlabi’s will confirm, getting the corn dogs to market took plenty of hard work, grit, determination and positivity.

 

Retail is a whole new sector for us. We now love it, and we’ve learnt a whole lot, but it’s been challenging. We’ve been received really well by the public.

// Browns Corn Dogs Creator, Mabel Akinlabi

 

The work paid off, and by the end of 2020 they were able to expand into different flavour varients including Original, Jalapeño Cheese, and Creamy Cheese. Mabel and Wale have lots of advice for other budding entrepreneurs looking at moving into this space – but Mabel says the most important thing is to make yourself accountable.

 

If you have a brilliant idea, tell someone else about it and make yourself accountable to someone. Now it’s out there, so you’ve got to do something about it.

// Browns Corn Dogs Creator, Mabel Akinlabi

 

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Sandton Times Correspondent

Sandton Times Correspondent

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