With Mother’s Day just a few days away we thought it fitting to celebrate a small business that found its origins in the heart of a home (the kitchen), with a mother simply wanting to delight her children with home-made sweet treats.
Sweet Temptations Toffees is the brainchild of Anita Labuschagne, a mom and budding entrepreneur based in Somerset West. Her award winning small business specialises in handmade gourmet toffees and luxurious nougats. With their use of top quality ingredients and their striking, beautifully hand-wrapped packaging, Sweet Temptations Toffees has become a recognisable household brand throughout South Africa.
So how did it all begin? The wheels were set in motion in April 2010 when Anita’s kids wanted something sweet and she didn’t feel like going out to the shops in the wind and rain. Instead she decided to experiment making an old fashioned ‘tameletjie’ (home-made toffee). The results were far from successful so, in an attempt to rescue her dish she added a few more ingredients. What resulted was a sweet treat with a toffee-like texture. Anita took some to work and when her colleagues started ordering her toffees she decided to perfect and refine her recipe. Anita describes, ‘After loads of sugar down the drain and a few extra kilos on the hips, I was finally happy with the product and launched an old fashioned looking gourmet toffee in August 2010 at Lourensford Farmers Market.1′
With sound research in the market need for handmade gourmet confectionery products, a now refined recipe and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, her business started gaining momentum to the point where she had to make the tough decision to quit her job and do it full time.
From the age of 16, Anita had to be financially independent. She was forced to stand on her own two feet and make ends meet. Her entrepreneurial skills developed out of tough times. She believes that, ‘An entrepreneur is that person who is prepared to sacrifice personal time, family life in the initial stage and pour his heart and soul into what he is doing without any hesitation. Someone who doesn’t crumble when rejected the first time and someone who keeps going and stays positive no matter what.’
It is this tenacity that fuelled the growth of her business. For the first two years, Sweet Temptations Toffees grew by a staggering 1902% and has been growing at a steady rate since then. To keep up with the pace Anita had to draw in her family and relatives as well as a wonderful group of people from the community who are now permanent employees. In total, Sweet Temptations now provides jobs to 19 people – a true testament to the way a small business can create opportunities and empower members of a community and all the more reason to #ShopSmallBiz.
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Small Business Friday is brought to you by the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC) and Nedbank (Title Sponsor) and encourages all South Africans to interact and support small business everyday; especially every Friday and even more so on Small Business Friday, the first Friday of Spring every year. This grows local communities, drives job creation and ultimately builds the nation. With your support small business will be able to employ more, therefore reducing rates of unemployment and harvesting the entrepreneurial spirit.