Faith Kgatlhe is one of over 100 participants of Standard Bank Enterprise Development’s 12-month Basali Development Programme. She is the founder of Flour and Sugar, a bakery in the Mabopane area.
- The Programme was launched in 2021, with the objective of ensuring that participants increase their annual turnover, create quality job opportunities and improve their compliance in order to qualify for higher levels of funding. Read the full Programme release here.
- Through the Basali Programme, she has increased her average output from approximately 50 loaves a day in November 2010 to 200 loaves a day by March 2022.
- While her company is still awaiting certification, they have already been approached by large retailers like BP, Spar and PicknPay.
Faith was born and bred in Mapobane. She shares with us that even when she was younger, she really wanted to become a baker. “My mother discouraged me because she believed I couldn’t survive just being a baker. She felt it was just a hobby that couldn’t be monetised.” Heeding her mother’s advice, a young Faith decided to become a constructor and pursue a career in Engineering.
REDISCOVERING A PASSION
It was in 2020, during the lockdown that became clearer for Faith. “I found myself cooking and baking a lot and it reminded that that was what I’ve always wanted to do. I started selling some of my creations with neighbours and the feedback was really impressive. So thought to myself, why not turn this passion into a business?” she explains.
After doing some research, Faith zoned in on the bread industry. “I learnt that many people in my community were not impressed with the longevity and quality of the bread being sold to them. So I came up with a recipe for delicious bread that tastes good for longer.”
BUILDING A GROWING BUSINESS
Faith tells us that she started off with just 10 customers. “Through word of mouth and my consequent participation in the Basali Programme, I now have around 200 customers.”
A growing business presents the challenge of increased demand. For Faith, it meant she had to either acquire new equipment or settle for unhappy clients. “I apporched SEDA for baking equipment and the advisor pointed me in the direction of Basali, so I applied and was accepted into it. I had no business background, so the lessons on how to run a business and financial management were definitely the most valuable aspects of the Programme for me.”
Currently, Faith shares that they’re waiting on certain certification in order to supply retail stores like BP, Spar and PicknPay, who’ve already approached them.
How do you want Flour and Sugar to be remembered?
“Our customer service is unparalleled and I want our customers to always remember us for that.”
What is your ultimate PSA for black women?
“I believe nothing is impossible and I want women to know we can do more, we can execute smart ideas and we can rise. Whatever we want in life, we can achieve it. When I started this business, there was a lot I didn’t understand, but I started with what I had. You don’t have to wait for all your ducks to be in a row. As long as your idea is viable and the passion to succeed is there, you should go for it!”
What advice do you have for aspiring bakery owners?
“You have to win the battle in your mind first. Baking is such a soulful thing to do and it needs time and energy, so you’ve got to really want to bake. You’ll also need to be disciplined, stick to your plan. Lastly, you have to know who you want to cater to – define your target market and dedicate yourself to it.”