At Riversands, with an eye on the local economy, we identified a pool of talented home bakers who make money from their skills, but could use a boost to grow and formalise their businesses and create additional jobs and opportunity.
The Cookie Co-op business model allows Riversands to market the freshly-produced cookies through its corporate network to bring in bulk orders which can be filled by multiple micro businesses.
The entrepreneurs work under the guidance of an experienced pastry chef as well as a professional caterer. Administrative help from Riversands ensures that everything is correctly costed, delivered and invoiced and the revenue distributed equitably. They use tried and tested recipes, improve their baking skills and business savvy, with all the profits flowing back to their pockets.
Mbali sets her alarm for 4 am every weekday to bake cookies to sell on the pavements of Diepsloot. She knows her customers and her craft, yet despite offering the freshest cookies, business is tough. Most days she sells out, but on other days, due to poor weather or other unfathomable reasons, she trudges back home with too much stock.
Mbali heard that the nearby Riversands Incubation Hub was cooking up a plan to help entrepreneurs like her reach new customers, learn new skills and bake in higher quantities. She signed up and has now mastered the art of navigating an industrial kitchen, using professional equipment and baking according to stringent hygiene requirements. She is not looking for a job or a hand-out; she likes her independent status. But she’d also like to earn a higher and more consistent income.
Mbali is one of the many entrepreneurs on the newly established ‘Cookie Co-op’.
Benefits for entrepreneurs
Under the umbrella name of the ‘Cookie Co-op’ these entrepreneurs produce and sell biscuits and enjoy the benefit of regular orders at a higher margin and therefore higher profits. By signing up to the platform entrepreneurs may access to the following:
- Use of a professional, industrial kitchen
- Supervision to ensure health and safety standards are met
- Better pricing through bulk buying of ingredients
- Access to a variety of proven recipes
- Mentorship from an experienced pastry chef and a professional caterer
- Mentorship and training on business concepts such as costing and pricing
- Use of a professionally designed brand and corporate ID
- Professional packaging of product (both bulk and individual wrapping)
- Back-office support including invoicing and debt collection
- Marketing, advertising and sales support including promotion of the concept to the Riversands corporate client base
- Retail opportunities on the Riversands campus
- Logistics support and delivery of product
There’s nothing quite like a home-baked cookie, fresh from the oven. What about a cookie with a message to commemorate a company milestone or a standing order to liven up office meetings? Cookies may be individually wrapped and sealed for hygienic delivery to individual desks or the boardroom table.
Fancy spoiling a client or colleague? Fancy treating a client or colleague to a box of freshly baked biscuits? We offer gift packs in a range of scrumptious colours with a personalised message – delivered to an address of your choice.
Know that you are supporting a talented entrepreneur when you dunk a cookie in your morning tea or coffee. Your company also earn valuable BEE points through supporting small, black-owned enterprises. Now that’s what you call a sweet deal.
Please email us on email@example.com to receive our corporate pricelist or to support the Cookie Co-op platform through enterprise and supplier development spend.