Chemical engineer strikes gold in biscuits industry



JOHANNESBURG – AN up-and-coming biscuits company has received R6,5 million to enhance its operations thanks to a thriving development programme initiated by a leading bank and retail chain.

Biscotti Biscuits has secured the funding from the supplier development programme between Enterprise Development from Absa Bank and Massmart.

The R6,5 million deal concluded last year includes a R5 million loan from Enterprise Development with Massmart guaranteeing 50 percent of the loan.

The balance is covered by Absa. A R1,45 million grant was provided by Massmart to upgrade the biscuit factory and ensure compliance with food safety standards.

Oscar Siziba, Provincial Head of Business Banking for Absa in Gauteng says in teaming up with Massmart, through the supplier development programme, they are able to build businesses that create income and opportunity.

“This is vital to champion economic activity and social cohesion in Gauteng.

“This is why enterprise development is an important pillar for us and we are proud to have opened the doors to Biscotti Biscuit’s prosperity in our mission to continue to make a difference in this sector,” Siziba says.

Bheki Zondo, owner of Biscotti Biscuits, says it has been a childhood dream of his to run his own business.

“Today this is a reality thanks to Absa and Massmart. All this success has fuelled our plans for expansion.

“New on-the-go Cantucci biscuits – Italian style made biscuits with almonds – will round out our portfolio and are currently being piloted in Makro,” says Zondo.

Zondo has doubled his workforce to 70 staff and added an extra shift to keep up with demand from his corporate clients such as Pick n’ Pay, Spar, South African Airway, Chipkins, Famous Brands and Netflorist.

This has had a direct impact on the local community in Duncanville, Johannesburg as more than 100 family members are supported through the new jobs.

Zondo is a qualified chemical engineer who took over the biscuit factory from the Italian Valle family in 2014.

– CAJ News




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