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Promising results from baking entrepreneurs

This year started off with an incredibly blessed Bake for Profit course. Starting off with 6 learners in an unfamiliar and slightly smaller facility, the creativity of our trainer Anabela Beuke ensured that the programme was implemented in accordance with our regular high standards.
We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the bakers as they put heart and soul into applying the baking techniques and business skills they were learning. Each week we were inundated with Whatsapp messages and pictures of the various cake and biscuit orders that were being produced.

Valerie Kok signed up for the course to learn how to earn an income for herself. She was at the classes early in the mornings and was always helpful and willing to help during the baking classes. Even though she did not reach her target of R500 per week, she remained focused and determined to implement the lessons she was learning – among which was learning how to work with fondant icing at the job shadow she did at Charly’s Bakery.

Ethel Braaf regularly volunteers at a school with HIV children. She loves baking and started the course to learn more about baking and was very glad that she was able to cost the products that she was already selling at the school. She realized that she was selling at the wrong price. She is a very committed mother and accompanies her children everywhere. She wants to bake and earn extra money for herself.  She said “on this course you learn a lot. I was thinking you just bake, but I was surprised. The Alpha discipleship classes were amazing, the baking theory was great because I learnt about costing, stock control and the marked-up box and price investigation – and that before you start baking, you must check that you have all the ingredients. I enjoyed my job shadow at Tutti’s and learned a lot about glazing and packing while I was there”.

Ethel will continue working as a volunteer, but plans to bake at least 3 times a week to supplement her family’s income.

Andisiwe Simela was hoping to start training with the September 2016 course which had to be deferred. Fortunately, Anabela took her under her wing when she realised how eager Andisiwe was to start earning an income from her baking – and started mentoring over the few months while we were setting up our kitchen in the new facility. Andisiwe works extremely hard and bakes to the early hours of the morning to fulfil the orders she is raking in. She is the mother of an 18 month old boy and is also raising her sister’s orphaned child. An entrepreneur at heart, Andisiwe also runs a gym offering kick boxing lessons. Despite her hectic life, Andisiwe has been steadily increasing her weekly sales and ended the course with an income exceeding R1200 per week which she earned for the stunning kiddies themed birthday cakes she has been producing.

“It is the best course for anyone who wants to start their baking business even if you don’t have experience.  In many ways (through the Life Skills training) things they teach us are things that are relevant in everyday life” said Andisiwe. “Alpha helped me to re-connect with the Lord and spiritually I have changed for the better. I’ve also returned to church” .

Agnes du Preez started the course because she wanted to do something for herself. She was very dedicated from day one and became a very good baker. She was so thrilled with her job shadow experience at Cake Emporium. She gained a lot of confidence in herself through the 9 weeks and has even approached local stores to stock her products. She said that “the course helps you in many ways – with the business side and baking, and also with spiritual healing and learning a lot about yourself. It really showed me that I am much stronger than I thought I was. Doing Alpha really impacted my life. I am feeling much closer to God and I’m in a much better place. It was amazing for me to discover that I can commune with God throughout the day – and that I did not have to keep prayer for special times when I can kneel before Him. Now I talk to God all day!”

Angelo Gallant, the “angel” amongst the ladies, attended the course to earn more money and to learn more about catering. He was able to see and experience that at his job shadow at Tutti’s bakery. Previously he was baking and selling the products at his tuck shop from home, but he shared with us that his family are very happy that he as acquired new baking skills…”before your cakes used to be heavy, now they are so good”. He said that “the baking practicals were very helpful because it taught me every thing the right way. You have to clean regularly, consider hygiene, to get your utensils and put all your ingredients together before you start baking.” As his baking improved, he started promoting his business by posting pictures on WhatsApp. Every weekend he would share pictures with the group of the large orders he was producing for customers. He too managed to exceed his sales target of R1200 per week and is determined to be nominated as this year’s BfP Entrepreneur of the Year.

Angelo went on to say that the Alpha sessions contributed to a  greatly improved relationship for him with God. He said: “Alpha group was beyond excellent. If I could do it again I would do it in a heartbeat. They gave us a real inside about what Christianity is all about and how you should live your life.

The feedback from this group of students has been extremely positive and every one achieved more than they bargained for.

In her course report, Anabela Beuke, Bake for Profit trainer said “I am very happy with the outcome of this class. They are group of very special students who are are willing to work hard for their dreams and goals”.

The hospitality of the Durbanville Presbyterian Church family provided a comfortable new home for our training while several volunteers supported Anabela in her task of equipping these bakers to become successful entrepreneurs. A special thanks goes to Louise Scott from DPC, Laura Jonck, Leilani Geritse, Karike Scheerer, Vaness Daries, Wilma Martin – our Life Skills volunteers, as well as Craig Wilcox and Mike Moerdijk the Alpha hosts; as well as Trish and Phil Leaver for the endless supply of Wednesday sandwiches.

This class has crept right into our hearts, motivating us with their success. We’re looking forward to watching this group of individuals grow from strength to strength.