Bontle Tshole is the owner and founder of Baaa Smoothie, a health bar situated in Boksburg, Johannesburg, which specialises in delicious, fast food alternatives for health-conscious consumers.
Bontle was inspired to start a healthy food bar to address lifestyle illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, which she believes are neglected issues in South Africa. Her goal was to start a business which would help people enjoy healthy meals but not compromise on taste.
“Changing the narrative surrounding healthy eating involves a great amount of consumer education as well as providing healthier food alternatives," explains Bontle.
Baaa Smoothie was founded two years ago with them selling only smoothies. Their focus on business development and growth has helped them expand their range to include energy chocolate balls, granola bars and delicious wraps.
Bontle admits that the entrepreneurial journey was not easy and says that she had to negotiate many challenges to get to where she is today. She believes that being part of the SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Programme helped her grow her business and achieve success.
According to Bontle, the Tholoana Enterprise Programme workshops were eye-opening for her and essential to the business. “The month before we joined the programme, we had a good month reflecting R50 000, but the first income statement we did at the workshops the following month, reflected an income of only R650. We have since grown to an average income of R12 000 a month and are working at increasing this at a maintainable pace," explains Bontle.
Baaa Smoothie employs six part-time employees and they expect to employ an additional full-time employee during the next 12 months.
Baaa Smoothie provides its services to markets, corporate events and private functions. They also take online orders and are working towards moving into the retail space. In the next five years, Bontle plans to have opened outlets across South Africa which will serve a variety of delicious health foods.
Bontle is a woman who is not afraid to reach for the sky, she is goal driven and has big plans for her business. "I am inspired by the people who get up every day and continue striving towards their dreams.”, Bontle concludes.
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