Mo-Lito’s story is typically unconventional as is the case with most startups. Origins can be traced to a fledgling soap manufacturing venture that pivots over time to the current processing of natural yoghurt, all sprouting from a foundation and passion for manufacturing and value creation. The husband and wife team of Andrew and Wangari are the co-founders of Mo-Lito who quite unintentionally planted the seeds of what it is today, back in 2001. Andrew, an ardent supporter of all cows, missed a critical engagement in the couple’s life, so as to seal the irresistible deal of buying five grade cows, also known as his ‘ladies’. Indeed, such is his passion for the dairy business which is part and parcel of his upbringing.
This one step set into motion what would become Mo-Lito as the five grade cows would be the genesis for the actualisation of the yoghurt business. Indeed, like most great stories in life, the early days of Mo-Lito were never really planned, they just sort of happened, almost serendipitously falling into place, piece by piece, in hindsight. As a newly married couple in dairy farming, whilst still holding down full-time jobs and planning a family, the couple were faced with the predicament of having to spill perfectly good milk due to the Kenyan dairy industry dynamics, at the time. This led them to the epiphany that they could use value addition as a viable alternative to making losses in dairy farming, by making yoghurt instead.
Processing yoghurt would not turn out to be an easy undertaking. Armed with a ‘kuni’ (firewood) burner, milk, a recipe and sheer determination forged over time, the team toiled day in, and day out, seeking to make a product their young children would approve of. After much effort, this goal was met with repeated requests of ‘more please’ from their children for the yoghurt that was the fruit of their labour of love. As their yoghurt-making adventure continued, the next steps saw the process of producing sufficient quantities of the as yet unbranded yoghurt to sell toworkers at the neighbouring flower farms. Emboldened by their early success, they made the decision to incorporate Mo-Lito Limited as a dairy business in November 2005.
And so it happened, the birth of the farm fresh country yoghurt, from Redhill, Limuru, known as Mo-Lito. Over the past decade, a lot has changed at Mo-Lito. Andrew’s Friesian ladies now number more than eighty as Andrew’s unflinching passion for cows and Kenya’s dairy industry has almost certainly infected Wangari who now steers the business on a day to day basis. The old kuni burner has long been retired, replaced with modern yoghurt processing, and packaging systems. However, the firm commitment to creating and curating a high quality yoghurt remains, unchanged.