Just four years ago, Nomjana was a volunteer at a community garden in Cape Town. He had R40 in his pocket and not much else except a business idea.
Nomjana did some research and worked out that selling spinach bread, which is both tasty and nutritious, would be a good way to make some money. Nomjana relied on his neighbor to allow him to use her oven to make his first loaf.
After rejections from everyone he approached about investing in his business, Nomjana decided to start his own bakery, Espinaca Innovations, selling spinach-based goods.
When he started, it wasn’t all about building up his profits - he wanted to educate people about healthy eating and the benefits of including spinach in a diet.
Initially, he struggled a bit – the business side of what he was doing was difficult to manage, but a five-month entrepreneurial course helped Nonjama realise that he could build a business and help educate his community about healthy eating habits.
In 2014, the 28-year-old entrepreneur won an award that included R90 000, which he used to create a storefront bakery, built from a shipping container.
Now, Espinaca Innovations produces bread, muffins and sandwiches, and even has a bike delivery service. This year, Nomjana launched a second café and bakery in Khayelitsha Mall, with plans to open a factory in August.
He is evidence that you don’t need a huge amount of capital to start a business. His advice to other entrepreneurs is to work out what resources they have at their disposal and to work from there.
I had a bunch of spinach from the garden I was working out, and my neighbour had an oven.— Lufefe Nomjane, Espinaca Innovations
He is passionate about the health benefits of spinach.
And since then he has gone from strength to strength. He is opening a factory in Stellenbosch and his signature spinach bread will be available in Khayelitsha as well.
Newly developed Spinach bread is available at Sea Point and Green Point Spar in June and were sold out on the first day. Also available at health stores.
Listen to his full interview below: