CAPE TOWN - A Black-owned company won top honours and a cash prize in the agriculture and agri-processing category at the annual Eskom Business Investment Competition (BIC) held in Johannesburg last month.
Eden All Natural, a Cape Town-based company which produces natural and home-made peanut butter is owned by Debbie Matake.
Matake leads a manufacturing business which produces natural peanut butter with 100% peanuts and no additives, preservatives or sugar.
The entrepreneur and her husband, Brighton Matake founded Eden All Natural in 2013, after noticing a gap in the market for natural peanut butter.
Grade A peanuts are used to produce their peanuts at their plant in Kensington.
The peanut butter is available in a variety of flavours: cinnamon and raisin, crunchy, smooth, choc chip and seeded/nutty and honey.
Eden All Natural took top honours and a R100 000 cash prize in the agriculture and agri-processing category at the annual Eskom BIC, held last month in Johannesburg.
The Eskom Development Foundation launched BIC in 2008 with the aim of recognising, rewarding and inspiring small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who contribute toward poverty alleviation and the fight against unemployment.
According to Eskom Development Foundation's CEO, Cecil Ramonotsi, the competition is open to local, black-owned and registered enterprises that have been operating for more than 24 months in the manufacturing, engineering and construction, trade and services as well as agriculture and agri-processing sectors.
“The BIC has been helping small enterprises move to the next level with not only the financial rewards, but also business skills, training and networking opportunities provided as part of their prizes", said Ramonotsi.
Prior to owning their own company, Debbie and her husband began selling their product to friends and family.
Thereafter, their business took off and they went on to trade at fairs and malls.
Their luck improved when one fateful day, two gentlemen approached them and tasted the peanut butter.
The men were impressed with their product and just so happened to be regional buyers for a Pick n Pay retailer.
“In April 2016, we started supplying our product to Pick n Pay, and we also supply to Spar and Wellness Warehouse. At the start, we experienced similar struggles that many small businesses do, including lack of resources. But as soon as we found a production plant, we approached the municipality for compliance and got a license. We’ve never looked back and have been seeing great results. We are looking at securing other big retailers and expanding into other places like Johannesburg, which our prize money will go towards", says Matake.
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE