It is common knowledge that most employees have desires to own the company that they work for. For Jorge Ferreira, that desire did not materialize and he opted to retire from his employment due to age. Instead, his son Ricardo and his friend Rashaad Musa, established Saucy Secrets in 2009 after seeing Jorge work most of his life at a sauce making business.
Saucy Secrets was established with the aim of giving back to the underprivileged community of Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape by Jorge and Musa. With the assistance of Seda – among others – the company has now become a small golden goose for its founders with revenues of almost R4 million a year, whilst also giving employment to about 16 local community members. In 2010, the company’s turnover was less than R100 000 per year with about 7 employees. Seda’s intervention has resulted in the extra-ordinary turn around in fortunes.
Saucy Secrets founders approached Seda in 2010 and the following areas were diagnosed as gaps in the business:
- Lack of business plan to guide and control the business through its growth phase
- Inadequate branding and lack of advanced technical equipment
- Lack of relevant industry accreditation – Good Manufacturing Practises (GMP) which would enable access to certain retail markets.
Seda helped the company to implement new financial systems; completed a business plan; developed new branding for their premises and vehicles and assisted them to undergo the GMP training, a precursor to full accreditation. The agency further worked with the founders to apply for a R500 000 Seda Technology Programme grant to acquire new specialised equipment and machinery.
Seda’s assistance has also made it possible for Saucy Secrets to add more products into its range, and move its operations to a large facility in the industrial site of Uitenhage.
Jorge came out of retirement to manage Saucy Secrets manufacturing operations. He says “on our initial encounter with Seda, we did not know much about how they can help us, but now we can confidently say they have played a major role in getting us where we are today. We are hoping to have them as our strategic partner in our plans going forward”.
The company has big plans to further increase its product offerings, and its share of the local sauce market in the in the next five years. This move will also result in Saucy Secrets doubling its staff complement.