Imagine having to take two long taxi trips just to get a pizza which would be cold by the time you return home.
This used to be the reality for Soshanguve residents. Not anymore, an enterprising baker is now delivering this popular takeaway to the sprawling northern Tshwane township.
Naledi Dhlomo’s kasi pizza is prepared in a spaza shop cum bakery in IA section near the bustling Mabopane Transport Interchange.
Dhlomo started Nyeleti Bakery in 2019 after a training course at a community centre in Mmakau in the North West province. Prior to that she had been in the SA Navy where she also served as a chef.
After leaving the defence force in 2011 she began chasing her dream of establishing her own business. After completing the course and with start-up capital of R1500 courtesy of her husband, Dhlomo bought a mixer machine and ingredients to establish her own baking business at home.
She started by selling cupcakes, school buns and biscuits, using word of mouth and social media to market her products in the neighbourhood.
In early 2020 when the country was in lockdown, business began booming. During that period, she saved up enough to buy the equipment needed to grow production.
In May 2021, she moved to the current premises where her husband was already running a spaza shop and bed manufacturing business.
The bakery which employs two full-time staff, now produces 140 loaves of bread daily and other products such as rolls. Dhlomo uses social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp to market her business.
Her next goal is to invest in a reliable mode of transport to enhance her delivery capacity. “Delivery is one of the biggest challenges we face so far,” she said.
Other challenges include operational costs such as the high cost of electricity and power outages resulting from load shedding. “If you put dough in the oven and the power goes off, that means you need to throw away the entire mix.
That really costs us a lot,” she said. While the kota made from the bread she produces and the buns are popular among her clients, Dhlomo said the introduction of the pizza has caused great excitement.
“People used to take a taxi and pass right here to go get a pizza elsewhere. But now they can get it right in their backyard,” she said.
Dhlomo’s future plans include opening a second bakery and establishing her own mill where she will produce her own flour and cut down on operational costs.
Also, she plans to introduce baking lessons for people in the township so they can also set up their own businesses.
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