We all love snacks, something we can munch on when we are watching our favourite TV show or we just need something healthy to munch on. There is a demand for snacks, especially healthy nuts. This is one reason why Ashley das Rosas Massingue decided to start her cashew nuts business. Her business involves packing appetizing flavours into a range of snack cashew nuts which are winning over fans of these tasty treats.
Ashley Massingue is the owner and CEO of a family brand of appetizers, Shez Snacks, in Mozambique. She started her business in August 2020 to process and sell high quality nuts in different flavours. The company is the first in Mozambique using glass jar packaging for this kind of product. With more than 5 years experience in Communication and Marketing, Ashley decided to embrace her passion for oilseed fruits mainly cashew nuts and start the business.
Ashley was inspired to start the business by a conversation she had with a friend about the term “rat race,” which means working to pay bills. she was sad to realize that her life was already in the rat race and her friend advised her to think of some extra business, something she liked a lot. And then Ashley thought about food.
“I’m not a cook and honestly I don’t like to cook, but I love to eat, especially snacks (of all kinds). As a result, I came to the idea of selling chestnuts, but for that I needed to add value to the product and not do what all chestnut sellers do. I did a market study about what I needed on the products offered and I created, with the help of my relatives, the Shez Snacks brand of flavoured cashew nuts.” She said.
For Ashley, the entrepreneurial journey has been a challenge every day, mainly because the Shez Snacks product is a gourmet product and consequently is expensive in relation to what is found on the market. However, at the beginning of this journey she already expected this, and that’s why she segmented the business’ target group, being focused on mainly the middle – high class market segment.
Four years ago, Ashley co-founded a marketing and billboard rental consulting agency (Lash Agency, Lda – Mozambique), through which she learned and improved her skills in negotiation, market studies, market variations, production of media material, brand activations, etc. The business provided services to several companies and organizations of national and international reputation. Unfortunately, at the end of the 3rd year she had to close down due to a disagreement with her former partner.
Ashley describes her greatest satisfaction as the acceptance and feedback of the product by consumers and the loyalty of partners who resell her products.
Ashley’s advice to women who would like to undertake their own entrepreneurial journey is “Don’t allow yourselves to continue in the ‘rat race’. Start doing something you like. Start today, start now”