At our last Paarl Business Andre Haasbroek hosted us at the In2Food product development kitchen for a conversation about entrepreneurship and the success story of Nibbly Bits.

Andre was a financial manager at Pioneer Foods and saw the opportunity to sell handmade biscuits and snacks to major retailers in SA. 

In 1996 he quit his job and ploughed all his savings into starting this dream and his embarked on his entrepreneur journey.

With a warehouse in Paarl and 30 employees, over a period of ten years they increased the size of the warehouse and employed over 700 people.  They also opened 16 retail stores all over SA, and supplying their products to major retailers Woolworths and Spar.

In 2016 they merged with Paarl based food company, In2food, where Andre is now the Chief Information Officer.

Andre’s journey is an insightful one, and the lessons we learnt are invaluable!

Here are a few of the lessons I walked away with:

  • Personal growth must be a priority – read, read and read. 2 of his recommended reads are Carol Dweck’, Growth Mindset; and Good to Great, by Jim Collins.
  • If you believe your product is the best and believe in it, don’t give up knocking on doors and getting the world to know about.  Never give up if you believe in what you are selling!
  • “WTP” – which means Willingness to Pay! If you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business!
  •  Get yourself a mentor – he mentioned that he knows colleagues who are 60 years old, and still have mentors.  Mentors are important.
  • Get the right people to do the work that you are not good at, or jobs that you don’t like doing.  Expert knowledge is so important as it frees up your time to do the things that you love doing!

You can watch the conversation here:

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