Celebrating local innovation and entrepreneurship in Global Entrepreneurship Month
Pick n Pay has recognised five small business suppliers that have excelled through its Enterprise and Supplier Development programme this year, and 10 Pick n Pay buyers who have enabled small suppliers to flourish and grow across the retailer’s extensive network.
Pick n Pay spent R4.3 billion with SMMEs in South Africa during the last financial year, and 95% of its own brand food and groceries are produced locally. “We understand there are barriers to entering the formal retail sector so we ensure we play our part in equipping, enabling and empowering local small and emerging businesses through our Pick n Pay Enterprise and Supplier Development programme to list their products with a large retailer. This is a strong part of our Doing Good is Good Business journey,” says Vaughan Pierce, Head of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG). Pick n Pay supports 2 178 SMMEs – up from 2123 the previous year – showing its dedication to supporting small businesses, even during a pandemic.
The 2022 Small Suppliers of the Year award winners include Rishav Juglall, owner of Rocky Brands and Marketing, Brett Horwitz owner of Goodleaf Company (Pty) Ltd, IIse Ruthford, Managing Director of Compagniesdrift, Iqbal Aziz owner of Aztec Farm Produce and Njabulo Sithole, owner of Bakers Creationz. Together these exceptional emerging businesses employ 149 people. The winners were selected based on their incredible performance over the last year, their commitment and ability to create jobs and their sales growth in the past year.
The winners were announced at the annual Pick n Pay & Boxer #BoostYourBiz Summit hosted during Global Entrepreneurship Month. Speaking at the event in Cape Town, attended by over 100 small business owners, Mishinga Seyuba Kombo, Head of Enterprise and Supplier Development at Pick n Pay, says all small businesses had shown incredible passion and dedication to growing their businesses in a tough economy, and had really embraced the support offered through the programme.
“We have had to relook at how we support and empower small suppliers to ensure we continue to consider their concerns and challenges in the current economic setting. We continue to provide them with mentorship and business development support to ensure they have the tools to excel in retail. With the support from our commercial and product teams, together we develop strategies and programmes to increase productivity and delivery to our customers,” says Seyuba Kombo.
For the first time this year, small suppliers from the programme recognised buyers for their support, professional guidance and mentorship. “As a small business navigating the sometimes daunting world of retail, liquor buyer Mervyn Cusens has always helped us find our way to getting new products listed, advising on current product promotions and linking us up to anyone that would add value within the Pick n Pay business,” says Simone Musgrave, founder of Musgrave Crafted Spirits, on the support provided by Cusens, who was one of the SME Buyer winners.
“Our small businesses and buyers go hand-in-hand in our programme – only together can they deliver innovative products to customers,” says Seyuba Kombo.
Pierce says the ESD programme played a decisive role in empowering entrepreneurs so that they can support themselves and become meaningful contributors to our economy. “Small business plays an integral role in driving a sustainable economy. They are the engine that drives our communities. They create jobs and help drive innovation and competitiveness.”
“We have a massive opportunity to work with even more entrepreneurs as we innovate and add new products and ranges for our customers, especially with our growing private label range, which is supplied by many small businesses. For instance, Nicola Kok, owner of Simply Granola has successfully collaborated with our teams to launch a new premium muesli under our Crafted Collection by PnP brand,” says Seyuba Kombo.
- Fresh produce winner: Iqbal Aziz, Aztec Farm Produce [Based in KwaZulu-Natal]
Iqbal Aziz started with two staff members and now employs eight people. He started his business 30 years ago and has been supplying Pick n Pay with Asian vegetables for 26 of those years.
“Aztec is the biggest contributor in our Indian Vegetable Category and supplies us with 19 products which are extremely popular in Durban. He supplies produce to stores through our distribution centre, but we recently worked very closely with him on a project to deliver produce directly to stores. With his help, we have completely changed the experience we offer customers in this category. The project launched in early November 2022, and it is going so well that he has nearly doubled the products’ sales this month. We have also expanded the project from the initial three pilot stores to 10 stores,” explains Seyuba Kombo summarising feedback from the buying team.
- Bakery winner: Njabulo Sithole, Bakers Creationz [Based in KwaZulu-Natal]
Njabulo Sithole, owner and founder of Bakers Creationz, started baking part-time from his kitchen at home to create delicious baked foods for family and friends in 2014. It was so successful that he moved to a larger facility later that year. He has grown his team from 13 members to now employing 40 people at this business in Maphephethe in rural KwaZulu-Natal.
He started supplying six products (a range of snowballs) just under 18 months ago, and his sales have grown by over 400% in the last year. He currently stocks his products in 179 stores across Gauteng and KZN after first launching in 57 stores in Durban.
“Passion, patience and persistence are the ingredients of Bakers Creationz’s success. His business started off by baking quality products for his family and friends, and this turned into supplying Pick n Pay with quality baked goods in two regions. He continues to grow as he aims to sell his products nationally. Bakers Creationz positively impacts their local community by creating job opportunities within the Maphephethe area. This has contributed to their success and ensured that they grow as a business and also as a community,” says Seyuba Kombo.
- Edible: Beverages winner: Brett Horwitz, Goodleaf Company (Pty) Ltd [Based in Western Cape]
Goodleaf is a premium CBD brand devoted to providing customers with quality and leading products from carefully sourced manufacturers. Brett Horwitz started the South African business nearly four years ago and has been trading with Pick n Pay for two years. The company now employs 32 people, up from the three when the business was established, and sales continue to grow in Pick n Pay, with a reported nearly 60% growth last year.
Three Goodleaf CBD drinks products are currently stocked in over 180 Pick n Pay stores. “Goodleaf was selected as the Beverage SME winner this year as they remain at the cutting edge of innovation in beverages, and their business brings a new level of excitement and energy to the category in our stores,” says Seyuba Kombo.
- Non-edible: Household winner: Rishav Juglall, Rocky Brands and Marketing [Based in Gauteng]
From humble beginnings in a garage in Durban, founder Rishav Juglall has grown Rocky Brands into a company with a national footprint, supplying stores with some of South Africa’s favourite cleaning products and premium household polishes.
The business was started 11 years ago with just one person, and today he employs 39 staff members. Juglall joined the ESD programme in 2019 and his sales in the last year have nearly quadrupled. Pick n Pay currently stocks a range (11 products) of surface and appliance cleaners, air fryer parchment paper and cleaning gloves in over 130 stores.
“Rocky Brands’s success is driven by hard work, passion and innovation – which Rishav continuously identifies within the market. The business is situated in Riversands, next to Diepkloof where he employs most of his staff from. He is also actively involved in Social Responsibility projects within the community. Rocky Brands is leading the growth within his category, and we expect his business to grow from strength to strength,” says Seyuba Kombo, explaining the comments from the buyers.
- Liquor winner: Compagniesdrift [Based in Western Cape]
Since July 2019, Compagniesdrift has been a 100% black-owned, black economic empowerment organisation, and now employs 30 staff members. The company, funded by the Myburgh Family Trust, Standard Bank and the Land Reform and Development Programme (LRAD) of the Department of Land Affairs, specialises in wine storage, bottling and labelling facilities for wine producers in the South African wine industry. Since 2015 the company grew into a wine production company, producing a premium range of wines under the Compagniesdrift label.
Pick n Pay listed its wines in October 2021 and is currently stocked in 90 stores.
“Compagniesdrift is an authentic South African wine company with business principles and values that align with our own at Pick n Pay. They are dedicated to uplifting their community and continue to strive for excellence. We look forward to continuing the relationship and offering mentorship for the team at Compagniesdrift to thrive and grow from strength to strength.”