Ntshole tastes sweet success with marmalade jam

Orange marmalade jam PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Orange marmalade jam PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

Lindiwe Ntshole’s jam business has put her on the path of sweet success. The Morwa-based woman began making jams in her kitchen. Her entrepreneurial journey, she tells Business Monitor, began in 2016 after a retrenchment exercise saw to it that she pound the pavement looking for work.

“I was forced to do something to put food on the table; I started experimenting with different things, and ended up having a good product making jam. My family was impressed with the outcome and encouraged me to do more and commercialise it,” she said. However, she stopped making the jam as she felt it was not beneficial to her financially.

Her mother who enjoyed the natural goodness of the fruity spread of jam kept asking her to continue with it. It was during the first lockdown in 2020 when she decided to start producing jam again, this time she shared the product with neighbours and close friends who were impressed, wanting more of the stuff. “The feedback encouraged me to produce more and orders started pouring in. Since that day I never looked back. I saw the potential and went to the Local Enterprise Authority to enquire more about ways of expanding.

I was then directed to approach [the National Food Technology Research Centre] NAFTEC since I wanted to start producing in bulk. I am still trying to put together the required P2,000 [for quality assurance],” she said. Her homemade product has gained popularity in her community as Ntshole sells the marmalade jam to individuals who are also buying in bulk.

However, she still produces as per the orders that she gets.

Ntshole said after the quality assurance checks with NAFTEC she will then start approaching retailers, schools, hotels, and lodges as she believes in her jam. She also has plans to produce different varieties of jams and create employment. “My jam can be eaten with bread and biscuits, and can add flavours when added to desserts like cakes and puddings,” she said.

She currently uses social media to market her business and relies on referrals. Ntshole’s journey has been full of challenges as oranges are seasonal, however, she is looking for reliable orange producers. “I need to have a reliable person who can supply me with oranges throughout the year. I am working very hard to produce and distribute my jam to those who know about it. I am looking forward to growing my market, buying equipment and producing in bulk for the larger market,” she said.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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