Kitchen queens have shaped and baked a livelihood for themselves

Over two decades ago, a group of women from Qwaqwa in the Free State put on their aprons, got out the flour and mixed up a better future for themselves.

The Leratong Bakery co-operative was started by nine women. Sadly, five of the original members have passed away but the remaining four have not only been able to put bread on the table but have created a strong sisterly bond.

Leratong Bakery supplies nine crèches around Qwaqwa, as well as private households.

“Everything we do was self-taught and we have worked very hard,” said co-operative member Ntsejwa Nkone.

Nkone said that part of their success and sustainability came from the support that they received from their community.

“Our relationship with community members is very good; they have supported our products and have encouraged us to continue with what we do as they love our baked goods.”

Nkone explained that they received funding from the Department of Social Development that enabled them to purchase three stoves, a dough mixer, bread slicer, ingredients and allowed them to do some marketing.

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