Face to Face with Success

Meet Adri Williams: Changing lives, one cookie at a time

When Adri left her corporate job for a fulfilling career in the cookie business in 2007, her colleagues thought she was mad. But, she knew exactly what she was doing when she took a leap of faith and bought the bankrupted Khayelitsha Cookies for only R1 in 2013. Although it came with a heap of old debt, Adri knew that without the project, many of her employees would be unable to feed their families.

A community rife with crime and poverty, Khayelitsha is home to hundreds of unskilled women whose challenges with speaking English put them at a disadvantage to find work.

Through Khayelitsha Cookies, many of those women are now skilled bakers who are able to provide a decent living baking high-quality products for companies such as Garden Court, Southern Sun Hotels, Tsogo Sun Casinos and Pick n Pay.

All of us share the same passion. If we mess up and we don’t carry this business, then so many people will be back on the street again, and so many people will be hungry again.

Adri Williams, Managing Director and co-owner of Khayelitsha Cookies

It hasn’t always been easy for Khayelitsha Cookies - faced with daily financial burdens, Adri and her husband have had to max out their bond to pay employee salaries on numerous occasions but, they kept going.

Successful in its own right, Adri defines the success of Khayelitsha Cookies by taking a look at how it has changed the lives of the women it employs and how it has impacted their lives.

Defining success is employing the next person, seeing the transformation in each lady who’s not worked before, and who earns a salary for the first week.

Adri Williams, Managing Director and co-owner of Khayelitsha Cookies

Today, the women have taken the business from losses to profitability - breaking even most months and slowly paying back its debt in order to expand. Determined to reach her goal of employing one thousand women, Adri’s dream to owning a state-of-the-art factory is slowly becoming a reality.

Listen to Adri in conversation with Charlotte Kilbane in this week’s Face to Face With Success, brought to you by Nashua.

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
To play the (success) game well, get your game plan from the experts

To play the (success) game well, get your game plan from the experts

Ever wondered what the man who started Sorbet and a mathematical genius have in common?

Meet Kopano Matlwa Mabaso: Best-selling author and dedicated doctor

Meet Kopano Matlwa Mabaso: Best-selling author and dedicated doctor

At 21, she wrote a best-selling novel while studying medicine. Today, she's a doctor, a mother, and has three novels to her name.

Meet Helen Rees: Champion of public health

Meet Helen Rees: Champion of public health

Meet a champion fighting for the health of our nation!

Meet Maggie and Malebo Mokotedi: Queens of holistic healthcare

Meet Maggie and Malebo Mokotedi: Queens of holistic healthcare

Mother and daughter team Maggie and Malebo Mokotedi are making a difference with state-of-the-art healthcare in South Africa.

Meet multi-skilled rugby star Siya Kolisi

Meet multi-skilled rugby star Siya Kolisi

Growing up disadvantaged in the Eastern Cape, becoming an international rugby star was the furthest thing from Siya Kolisi’s mind.

Meet Ravi Naidoo - The creative genius behind the Design Indaba

Meet Ravi Naidoo - The creative genius behind the Design Indaba

He’s been behind the world’s best design and creative gathering for 22 years - and every year has taken it to greater heights.

Popular articles
LISTEN: Gerrie Nel on why he's persuing prosecution against Duduzane Zuma

LISTEN: Gerrie Nel on why he's persuing prosecution against Duduzane Zuma

AfriForum will prosecute Duduzane Zuma after NPA declined to do so in 2015 following a 2014 accident where a woman died.

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

Dr Bodhisattva Kar reveals how industrial capitalism influenced the world's current sleep patterns.

Hassen Adams (he brought Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts to SA) talks money

Hassen Adams (he brought Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts to SA) talks money

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Adams about his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

Kloof Street residents living in fear as crime multiplies

Kloof Street residents living in fear as crime multiplies

A Cape Town man was stabbed to death on Saturday while trying to assist two women who were being mugged on Kloof street.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.