By Jaime Uranovsky
Local and kosher-certified business, Komati Foods bagged first place in this year’s Nedbank Business Ignite Competition.
The coveted prize includes an intensive incubation programme from Kaello Business Hub to the value of R100 000 tailor-made to the business’s needs as well as media booking to the value of R200 000 on 702 or Cape Talk.
When asked what made co-owner Leanne Sabbath enter the competition, she says, “I always listen to Kieno [Kammies] on the radio when I’m getting ready for work and we’re really in a phase right now where we’re growing. We’ve always supplied health shops and a few pharmacies, and we’ve got our own store in Observatory. We’ve started supplying more and more Spars, and with growth comes so many challenges that you didn’t have when you were very small. I heard Kieno’s ad on his show and I thought that business coaching would be so helpful for me.”
Less than a month after hearing about Nedbank Business Ignite, Leanne had already won the competition. “I entered around the 10th of June and on the 13th I got an email to say I’d been selected as one of the finalists. Then, on the 18th of June, they said to me that they’re going to phone me and I’m going to talk on the radio with Kieno about the business. I hate public speaking! It makes me so anxious and I asked if we could pre-record the thing and he said no. Then, when they announced the winners, I had to speak again!”
The winning business was announced at an event on 2 July, with the ten shortlisted companies present. The first part of the evening involved speed-networking “with a representative from Nedbank, Primemedia or Kaello Business Hub, so you had to talk about your business to these people. Then, in the last boardroom, you had to present your business to two judges, Kieno Kammies and Tshepo Phakathi from the Kaello Business Hub, and a representative from Nedbank.
“After a deliberation period of about an hour, Africa Melane said that the winner was going to be announced shortly, and that [the winner was] going to speak on Cape Talk and 702, and I turned to my friend and I said, “I hope I don’t win!”’
Despite Leanne’s discomfort with public speaking, she succeeded in securing Komati Foods’ win and aced the subsequent radio interview.
Komati Foods is a family-owned and operated business. They supply superior quality dried fruit, nuts grains and healthy snacks. Leanne’s parents bought the business fifteen years ago and she joined them about five years ago.”
For more information about Komati Foods, as well as its free deliveries for orders over R500 within Cape Town, visit www.komatifoods.co.za