Carol Waithera: How I Went from Washing Dishes to Owning My Own Restaurant in Germany

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Catherine Waithera’s journey to success took an interesting turn when she left the country with her German husband, whom she had just met.

Upon arrival in Germany, Waithera, a trained lawyer, had to find ways to survive as she couldn’t practice law due to the language barrier.

To make ends meet, she embarked on a career in hospitality, starting from the very bottom by washing dishes.

“Back in Kenya, I loved cooking. Whenever we had parties at home, everyone knew Carol was cooking. I never knew I would take it up as a job,” she recalled.

Waithera’s passion for cooking led her to observe the chefs at the restaurant where she worked, learning the trade. Determined to formalize her skills, she enrolled in a three-year course to earn her certification as a chef.

In 2017, Waithera founded Restaurant La[Kula] in Schermbeck, Germany, offering Kenyan delicacies to the locals. The name “La[Kula]” is artistically styled to encourage communal dining.

“I open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Throughout these days, we offer a variety of cuisines, and on Sunday, we have a Nairobi brunch featuring traditional Kenyan breakfast dishes,” she explained.

The restaurant can accommodate about 100 people inside and around 300 outside in the garden.

It also has a few rooms for visitors who wish to stay overnight.

“The cooking is unique. I don’t want you to just eat the food; I want you to feel the love. I will dance and laugh with you, and you will always remember me,” she said.

Waithera’s restaurant has garnered massive support, inspiring her to start a podcast called “Far From Home-Diaspora Conversations.”

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