The story behind South Africa's Browns Corn Dogs

Mabel and Wale Akinlabi said they were hosting a birthday party for their 11-year-old daughter, and it was in their kitchen that they took their first tentative steps into the food production and retail sector

Picture: https://brownsfoods.co.za/

Author: Tebogo Mokwena

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A child’s birthday party, a kitchen full of excited – and hungry – preteens, and a spontaneous decision all led to the existence of Browns Corn Dogs. Started by a husband-and-wife duo, Browns Corn Dogs has found success with the frozen convenient food business in an industry they had little to no experience in.

Mabel and Wale Akinlabi from Johannesburg told Vutivi News they were hosting a birthday party for their 11-year-old daughter, and it was in their kitchen that they took their first tentative steps into the food production and retail sector. “During our daughter’s birthday party, I yanked out corndogs that I was making,” said Mabel Akinlabi.

“The kids loved these things, and I asked them all: ‘If we make these would you ask your parents to buy you some?’ and their answer was an emphatic ‘yes’,” she said. That emphatic ‘yes’ propelled them to launch their company Brown Foods in 2019, manufacturing the single corndog product, which was presented on a chopstick.

The Akinlabis then invested in the equipment they purchased from the United States – the original home of the corndog. They worked on setting up and polishing their recipes while building up their business in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was at the time shutting businesses like the one they had just started.

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