Baker of the Month – Vuyiswa



Q: Vuyiswa, you have been chosen as baker of the month, how do you feel about that?
A: Oh I am very happy! I have only been trading for a short time and it all happened to fast. I am still trying to catch my breath.

Q: Tell me how you brought income into your home before you joined the Mama Mimi’s family?
A: I used to bake and sell scones in Blouberg area.

Q: Blouberg? But that’s so far from Phillipi, why there?
A: We had to have an income, and I found an opportunity to do what I love, which is baking, and make some money at the same time. So I started pre-baking my scones and then I would go sell in Blouberg because I knew the area.

Q: Have you always baked, Vuyiswa?
A: I love baking. I started at about 13 when I wanted to try to bake a cake and I have never baked one before, but I wanted to at least try. We only had a flame stove, nevertheless, that didn’t stop me. I baked the cake and it came out really well, so then I decided I wanted to try and make a living by baking.
I was working in Durbanville in 2008 and I decided that I was going to work out a business plan to keep me baking, but, I also had to earn money.
I started planning how I could do this, and that is when I started selling amagwinya (vetkoek).

Q: How did you get to know about the Mama Mimi’s brand?
A: I was working in my shop and I saw Babalo walking around talking to everyone, so, he eventually found his way to me and started telling me about Mama Mimi’s and he asked me to attend the open day.
I couldn’t make it, but my husband went and he came back and told me I should go to the open day as it was about baking.
I decided to go and spent time listening to Babalo talk about the oven and the bakery micro franchise. I found out that The Philippi Business Place offers the micro franchise through their Business Builder Programme, in partnership with Mama Mimi’s Homemade Bread. After this, I made up my mind that this is what I wanted to do.

Q: I know that we trained you in December. Did you start immediately after you received your oven?
A: No, I had to first go home to the Eastern Cape but when I got back I started immediately, I was so excited to begin.

Q: How did you get so busy so fast? You haven’t been open all that long.
A: I listened at the training, especially about marketing. I was quiet in the training, even Ross said that I was too quiet but, I like to listen and learn. I don’t need to be loud to learn.
When I started, I only baked 4 loaves of bread. I cut up two of the loaves, like you said we must do, and walked around my area letting people taste my bread and they all loved it. The next day people started asking for the bread. Now they refuse to buy at the supermarkets and say they will only buy from me.
The people who support me, love the bread and they also order pizza. I sell my pizza for R120.00 and they say that I am the new pizza place so I am thinking of calling myself “MamaMimi-airs” hahahaha.
I now bake 72 loaves of bread a day. I use a box of premix every two days!

Q: What time do you get up to make sure all the bread is baked? It must be a very early start to the day.
A: I wake up at about 02h30am and I start baking. The nice thing is that I can rotate the bread pans, which helps me a lot! Once I have dough which has to stand for 15 minutes, then I start with the next batch and so on. My oven works until 21h00 at night.
I have had to get my eldest daughter to do homework with the small ones as I don’t have time.
But I love it and although it is hard work, I really enjoy it. My husband assists me. He also handles the amagwinya (vetkoek) side of the shop. So we are both very busy!

Q: You are always smiling Vuyiswa and you seem very happy. I hope you know that we are very proud to have you part of the Mama Mimi’s family?
A: Thank you! I am very happy because I am able to support my family but, I feel that I must also enjoy myself or else I will not be happy, and, that is very important too.

Vuyiwsa continues to light up the corner shop where she trades from.
She is always armed with a brilliant smile and a lot of determination, which
proves, that Vuyiswa, can only grow from strength, to strength.


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