Bakery owner Max Monedi was able to overcome his fears of opening a business and it may be failing thanks to the overwhelming support of his community. Fill Up Bakery is proof that a small business can grow with the right support from those it serves.
Monedi told Vutivi News that his bakery, which is based in Mabele-a-podi near Rustenburg, started because he wanted locals to have inexpensive bread. “Bread is a staple food in the country and in our community, and I saw how the community struggled with quality and affordable bread,” he said.
“I then started doing research because before I launched the business, I knew nothing about baking.” During the process, his concerns about running a business nearly overwhelmed him. “However, I did not let the fear stop me in my tracks. I opened the bakery in late 2020 and the immediate response was quite overwhelming,” Monedi said.
Residents helped him keep his doors open and employ four people. “The community is so supportive that if I close my shop for one day, I get a large number of calls from community members who demand to know where the bread is!” Today his bakery not only supplies residents but also businesses that make kotas in the village and surrounding areas.
“I saw the need to branch out to start supplying Kota-makers with bread because I did not want to be stuck in one place in terms of business growth,” he pointed out. “I attempted to approach shops owned by foreign nationals. but it was difficult to do business with them.
“That is when I saw the need to start supplying my bread to Kota-makers in my community and in surrounding villages, which has proven to be a smart move because a large number of my customers fall in that category,” he also said.
Monedi told Vutivi News that he was now looking at taking the next step to grow his business. He was in talks with the Small Enterprise Development Agency on assisting him with branding his bread so that he could compete with well-known brands. “I am, however, proud that I achieved a lot and got to where I am today without sponsorship because I proved to myself that I can make a business succeed because I am an entrepreneur and it is in my blood,” Monedi said.
“I am also proud that I was able to create employment because it meant that a few more families are able to go to sleep with food in their stomachs.”