Never underestimate a determined entrepreneur’s will to learn, grow and succeed. This was the takeaway from the recent 2021 Pick n Pay Small Supplier of the Year awards, which celebrates its top small business suppliers for their passion, dedication, and achievements from the past year.
The winners include:
– Organic vegetable farmer for the PnP brand: Magapa Phaweni, owner of Wensleydale Farms
– PnP toilet paper manufacturer: Guylain and Becky Panzu, co-owners Cushy Lush
– Popular kombucha brand Happy Culture co-owners, Mark and Manon Colmant
– Exclusive supplier of PnP firelighters: Patrick Langeveldt, owner of Greenworld Chemical Services and Supplies
– Local clothing manufacturer: Toni Teixeira, owner of T.T. Agencies
Hosted online with over 100 existing and potential suppliers to conclude Global Entrepreneurship Month, Mishinga Seyuba Kombo, Head of Pick n Pay Enterprise & Supplier Development (ESD), says it is incredible to see small suppliers triumphing during such a challenging time for so many small businesses.
“We have suppliers who have launched new products, grown their base of employees and expanded nationally in the last year,” says Seyuba Kombo.
Pick n Pay has a strong commitment to local sourcing, and Seyuba Kombo says many of the products on shelf, including its own PnP brand, are produced by small local businesses. “Small businesses carry significant weight for us, and we are always looking for strategic partners to help us accelerate the number of small businesses we include in our supply chain. This year’s winners have all shown passion, resilience and commitment. We’ve continued to partner with small businesses to ensure they grow their business.
“It can be a big step for small businesses to have their product listed on a shelf of a big retailer, and many overcome a lot to get there. Our ESD programme supports entrepreneurs through this process.”
Pick n Pay invested over R380 million through its ESD initiatives this year, including preferential procurement from participating small businesses, and mentorship and training initiatives.
The annual award recognises the company’s top performing small supplier from its Enterprise and Supplier Development programme. The winners are selected based on their business’ exceptional growth performance and job creation.
The 2021 Pick n Pay Small Supplier of the Year award winners:
Non-edibles winner: Household – Guylain and Becky Panzu, co-founders Cushy Lush – suppliers of PnP branded toilet paper.
Cushy Lush, a proudly black owned company from Soweto was established in 2015 by couple Guylain and Becky Panzu. They joined the PnP ESD programme in 2019 with only one product – toilet paper 9s. In the past year, they have almost tripled their sales. They will now supply the product nationally and are forecasted to further tripe their turnover in the next year. The company has created jobs throughout its manufacturing business as a result.
“Their success is built on hard work and passion to produce quality products. The couple remains focused on success and better performance. With just one product listed, they have generated millions in sales,” says Seyuba Kombo, summarising the comments from the respective Pick n Pay head buyer’s working with the small suppliers.
· Mark and Manon Colmant from Happy Culture were awarded for their growth in the edible: grocery category.
Happy Culture was born in Cape Town in 2017 when the couple fused their passion for health, happiness and bubbles, and they haven’t stopped sharing their enthusiasm for their passion.
“Happy Culture – a proudly South African business employing 15 people – joined the ESD programme just last year. They are often used in management meetings as a benchmark for new small businesses going on shelf given the success they experienced in just two months, and their continued growth in sales figures. They are leaders in gut health and well-being, and both business owners remain very in tune with their customers and active in the business. They continue to innovate their products, and just recently they adapted their kombucha recipe to have zero sugar.”
· General merchandise winner: Patrick Langeveldt from Greenworld Chemical Services and Supplies – exclusive supplier for the PnP Firelighter brand.
Langeveldt, together with his son Emile, join the ESD programme in 2010, and today the PnP Firelighter brand is the most bought firelighter in stores nationally.
This is the second year in a row that Langeveldt has been named a top supplier.“The work ethic shown by Patrick is unmatched. He works with a small team in the northern suburbs of Cape Town and, despite a challenging year of disruptions, the business consistently delivers products to store without fail. It is extremely rare to ever find a store without the product on shelf.”
· Fresh supplier winner – Magapa Phaweni, owner of Wensleydale Farms in Johannesburg, supplier of organic vegetables
“Phaweni has been a supplier with us for five years and has experienced good growth over the past two years. She now supplies us with eight organic vegetables to stores nationwide (spinach, butternut, pumpkin, baby marrow, big beans, green beans, cocktail tomatoes, baby cabbage), and has created 32 new jobs in the process.”
“Wensleydale Farms is playing an integral part in our growing our organic vegetable range under our Livewell brand and will be the biggest contributor in the category.”
· Clothing winner – Toni Teixeira, owner of T.T. Agencies
A new supplier and participant of the PnP ESD programme is T.T. Agencies. They initially supplied Pick n Pay Clothing with 50 000 pairs of denim jeans in 2020 and this quickly grew to 600 000 units this year. To sustain their growth with the retailer, T.T. Agencies set up an additional production line at their factory creating another 120 jobs. Aligning to Pick n Pay sustainability vision, they are the First Denim Supplier to offer Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and recycled fabric. They also follow sustainable practices such a recycling their water. “The business is still in its infancy but has experienced incredible growth the past year with Pick n Pay Clothing business now accounting for 50% of its annual turnover.”
Seyuba Kombo says that these winners are testament to the mutual relationship Pick n Pay has with its small suppliers. “Many of our winners have worked with us to deliver on what customers want and need, and by doing so, have grown their business through our network of stores.
“Our product development teams regularly host working sessions with our current and prospective small suppliers to share the latest customer trends. We discuss strategic areas for our business and how suppliers can support with an existing product they may have, or work with us develop something incredible for our customers through our own brand,” concludes says Seyuba Kombo.