From Samosas to Success: How a Ugandan Immigrant Found Her Calling in East African Cuisine

Daisy Smith’s journey from selling samosas at local farmers markets to building a thriving East African catering business with the help of a military program.

Daisy Smith, a Ugandan immigrant serving in the United States military, has always had a passion for cooking authentic East African food. Dissatisfied with the typical American fast food options, she embarked on a culinary adventure, starting with selling samosas, a popular African and Asian pastry, at local farmers markets. With her determination and entrepreneurial spirit, Smith quickly found success, making over $12,000 in just one summer. Now, she is ready to take her business, Litto’s East African Cuisine, to the next level with the support of a military program designed to empower active-duty military members, veterans, and military spouses in pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.

A Humble Beginning

Smith’s journey into the world of entrepreneurship began with a modest investment of $200 from her paycheck. Armed with her family recipes and a desire to share the flavors of her homeland, she started selling samosas and other African dishes at local farmers markets. The response from customers was overwhelmingly positive, and Smith quickly realized that she had tapped into a market hungry for authentic East African cuisine.

Catering Success

As her reputation grew, Smith began receiving requests to cater for small events, such as Super Bowl parties and Valentine’s Day celebrations. Her ability to bring the vibrant flavors of East Africa to these gatherings earned her a loyal customer base. With each successful event, Smith’s confidence in her culinary skills and business acumen grew, fueling her ambition to expand her catering business.

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The Power of Education

Smith’s desire to take her business to new heights led her to a military program that offers courses on starting and growing a business. The program, taught to active-duty military members, veterans, and military spouses, provides participants with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors. From business plan development to financial projections and marketing strategies, the program equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the challenges of running a business.

Empowering a Diverse Range of Industries

One of the program’s strengths lies in its inclusivity. It welcomes aspiring entrepreneurs from all industries, whether it be woodworking, construction, landscaping, or real estate development. The courses offered not only provide practical guidance but also serve as a platform for individuals to explore their ideas and vet their business concepts. This inclusive approach fosters a supportive community where individuals can learn from each other’s experiences and collaborate on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Pursuing Passion and Purpose

For Smith, her catering business is not just a means to financial success; it is a way to pursue her passion and find fulfillment. She advises others looking to start a small business to follow their interests rather than chasing trends or market demand. Smith believes that doing something you genuinely enjoy is the key to long-term success and personal satisfaction.


Daisy Smith’s journey from selling samosas at local farmers markets to building a successful catering business exemplifies the power of passion, determination, and access to resources. With the support of a military program focused on empowering active-duty military members, veterans, and military spouses, Smith has been able to turn her side hobby into a promising career path. Her story serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, reminding them that with the right tools and a genuine passion for their craft, they too can turn their dreams into reality.

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