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Through tenacity and a fierce belief in his skills, entrepreneur Njabulo Sithole has taken his Bakers Creationz from his son's school to Pick n Pay outlets throughout the country.

Bakers Creationz currently provides cakes, muffins, and signature coconut-coated snowballs to Spar stores, Pick n Pay Express, BP Express, Inanda Cash & Carry, Fedics, Shell and Engen Garage Shops. Most recently, he concluded a deal to supply Pick 'n Pay stores throughout the country.

He says it's been a long journey from his childhood dream of having his own business to owning and running a successful bakery in Maphephetheni. Sithole recalls the challenges of growing up in a disadvantaged environment, where most people believed big dreams were not possible and youngsters were left believing they would only be employees and never employers.

After completing his diploma in business management and marketing, he had an opportunity to work in the United Kingdom. While in London, he learnt a lot working in the food processing industry, but he still laughs about having lived only on bread for his first five months there. It was only when he began sharing a house with fellow South Africans and took on cooking duties that he discovered his culinary passion.

"By the end of the first week, I was cooking. By the end of the first month, I was the best cook in the house," he says.

This recognition and appreciation of his new-found passion inspired him to try his hand at baking, reading cooking magazines, watching cooking shows, and even improving on recipes that he found on the backs of flour packets.

On his return to South Africa, he worked for Woolworths for six months before taking up an offer from startup business Mpilende Foods. "I worked as if it was my own business and many people that I dealt with thought it was! Even now, I believe that if someone gives you an opportunity, you must grab it with both hands. If someone trusts you, you need to do far more than is asked of you."

He later teamed up with a colleague to create bread brand Royal Bake, using contract bakers. "The partnership was based on trust rather than a written agreement. When our working relationship broke down a year and a half later, I left," he explains.

He concedes that some expensive but valuable lessons were learnt from this experience, but he soon began to plan his next venture.