Emma Seas, a small business owner on the Richtersveld Route, began baking roosterkoek (traditional grilled bread) in 2005 to fund her daughter’s education at her food stand, Die Opellig Kombuis. It has been an uphill battle for her to learn how to run a business and now, 10 years later, she has become a household name for tourists visiting Port Nolloth.
Emma was involved in a mentorship programme, which was launched in November 2013. Within one year Emma was able to expand her business substantially. In addition to the mentorship support that has been offered to Emma, she received support from the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
Not only did Emma succeed in putting her daughter through tertiary education, but she has been able to ensure that all her children and grandchildren have been able to go to college. In the early years she got some support from the Diamond Trust fund, which helped her to improve a shade structure for her outdoor business. Over the years Emma took the opportunity to appear on television twice, appearing in travel programmes focussing on the Northern Cape as a tourist destination. This boosted her profile and she found people coming to visit her after seeing her on national television.
More recently, Emma has been able to build a mobile trailer that will allow her to continue selling roosterkoek in Port Nolloth, as well as travel to nearby tourism events. Along with the infrastructure development, Emma has developed a marketing campaign that will make her more visible on the web.
Magda de Waal, Emma’s mentor, has helped Emma develop and expand her menu for 2015 with the aim of diversifying her product range and further increasing her turnover. It is expected that 2015 will see Emma achieve record breaking profits since she first started her business in 2003.