BEHIND SOFT TOUCH BAKERY STORY: If It Happened To Us, It Can Happen To You

PICTURE: Supplied

Soft Touch Bakery is a 100% youth owned Co-operative based in Inxuba Yethemba Municipality, Cradock. The formation of the group came about after the NYDA facilitated a community mobilisation initiative which was followed by an Entrepreneurship Development Training (EDT).

Through the NYDA, they were assisted to formalise their structure and registered a Co-operative which subsequently received funding of R49 000 for purchase of equipment and stock.

The Bakery is located at the heart of Lingelihle Township. It’s opening triggered excitement from community members who came out in numbers to witness the launch. They pledged to support the bakery with some even committing to keep an eye on the property to guard against potential burglary.

Speaking to the Republic Mail, the chairperson of the co-operative, Xolani Mbana said their goal is to create employment for the unemployed members of his community.

“The company has since created four permanent employment opportunities and has the potential to create more,” he said.

Also present at the launch were officials from the Department of Social Development and the local ward committee led by the Councillor. The Co-operative was assured of full community support and were urged to focus on producing quality products and properly manage the much needed bakery.

All their dreams came into a reality after NYDA approved a grant.

The doors were eventually opened, community members and officials had an opportunity to tour the bakery and received complimentary cakes and biscuits. Soft Touch Bakery Co-operative lauded the NYDA for its unwavering support throughout.

“We approached the NYDA (PE branch) for financial assistance and a grant amounting R49 000 was approved.

“It helped us a lot because we were able to start our business venture and now we are living our dream,” Mbana said.

“We are planning to expand this business and employ more people at the very same time making sure that we continue serving our customer’s the best. Lastly, to have our Bakery in other towns around Eastern Cape,” he said.

Mbana said he hope young people, like himself, will make use of the NYDA opportunities and work towards their realising their dreams.

“All I can say to the young people of this country [is that] let’s stand up and make things happen, NEVER stop dreaming.

“Remember NYDA is here for us so let’s make use of any given opportunities. Lastly, if it happens to us, it means it can happen to u as well,” concluded Mbana.