Blue Downs shoppers at the opening of the Something Nice Pick n Pay store. PHOTO: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape economic opportunities member of the executive council (MEC), Alan Winde welcomed the opening of the Something Nice bakery in Blue Downs.

The shop became the third store in the province to be revamped into a Pick n Pay supermarket in the spaza modernisation programme.

The Western Cape department of economic development and tourism, the Old Mutual Foundation, Masisizane Fund, Brimstone and the City of Cape Town have partnered with Pick n Pay in the programme. Beneficiaries are assisted with modernising their stores and equipment, as well as with training and the development of business skills.

Blue Downs shoppers at the opening of the Something Nice Pick n Pay store. PHOTO: Supplied

The statement said store owner Armien Adams has been part of the Blue Downs community since he and his wife took over the running of the store from its previous owner several years ago.

 However, tragedy struck last year and the store and most of its equipment were badly damaged in a fire. Adams was forced to close the store while he waited for the insurance pay out.

Unable to afford new equipment, and with banks unwilling to grant him a loan, he nearly threw in the towel. However, with the fate of his 30 employees weighing on his mind, he decided to continue, using old equipment.

In May this year, he was selected for the programme which is aimed at helping entrepreneurs grow and develop their small retail businesses into supermarkets. As part of the revamp, he received new equipment and his store received a fresh new facelift.

Winde said: “The stores that were revamped in Nyanga and Gugulethu have achieved remarkable success in a short period of time as a result of the revamp, allowing the owners to increase their sales, grow their businesses and employ more people. We wish Mr Adams the same success on this road.”

“Armien Adams exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit, and proved to be a resilient businessman who continued to operate in a bid to save his employees jobs even after a devastating fire. With new product lines, and services on offer, we hope that his business goes from strength to strength.”

Pick n Pay deputy chief executive, Richard van Rensburg said: “When we began this journey, we set out to help retail entrepreneurs achieve their potential without ever losing their independence, providing the means for them to create real, sustainable businesses. Empowering them in turn helps empower communities through employment, supplier development and access to outstanding retail shops. We’re really proud of the programme’s success to date.”

As part of the revamp, the store will continue to serve the baked goods and hot meals it has become known for, but will now also include a butchery, and a wide selection of grocery items. It will also offer services such as money transfers, bill payments, and pre-paid electricity and lottery ticket sales.

- African News Agency (ANA)