Meet the ‘KDF’ chief-of-staff

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Casper Nyagaka at his bakery
  • Casper Nyagaka started selling KDF after high school
  • He didn’t imagine that Kenyans would fall in love with his mandazi

KDF, the mandazi and not the Kenya Defence Forces, is the most sought after ‘tea escort’ in most homes today.

But as KDF lovers consume their breakfast delight, Casper Nyagaka the brains behind this snack has been smiling all the way to the bank since he invented it three years ago.

“I started baking kangumu in 2014 at Kawangware area, the business was not bad but next to me was a Ugandan man who used to make softer ones. With time I realised he was giving me stiff competition and I asked for his recipe. But the Ugandan refused,” he told Citybiz.

Determined, Nyagaka travelled to Uganda to research on the business and after visiting a few bakeries, a newly acquired friend offered to teach him.

“To understand more about my passion, my buddy travelled back with me and we set up a new shop in Huruma area, far away from my first competition,” he said.

It is here, that Nyagaka baked his first kangumus and christened them KDF, “The name KDF does not stand for anything and has no links with the Kenyan Defence Forces,” the form four dropout says.

According to Nyagaka, KDF became a household name first within Huruma; customers would queue at his ‘factory’ every morning. Meanwhile, his business was growing.

And with time, Nyagaka increased production and hired more employees to meet the growing demand. Today, he has 40 employees working 24 hours at his bakery.

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Workers at the bakery

“The staff work day and night to cook about 100,000 pieces daily. Preparation of KDF does not require much skill other than measuring and cutting the mandazi pieces into equal pieces,” he said.

The pieces are then shaped, deep fried for five minutes and packaged for market. Each pack retailing at Sh60, carries six pieces. KDF has a week’s shelf life.

At the moment Nyagaka supplies Nairobi, Naivasha, Kitengela and its environs. He also uses riders to do deliveries around Nairobi.

This sees him pocket about a tidy sum on good day but sometimes power outage slows him down.

“So far so good, more so now that KDF is big,” he told Citybiz.

Once the KDF business becomes stable, Nyagaka has plans to expand into bread baking.

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Writer at Tunayo Business Magazine