Family-run businesses have something special at their heart - a connection that goes beyond simple commerce, and which instead are driven by passion and purpose to build a legacy. Biscuit Artistry, led by Gwynzel Henning and her amazing family, is one such company, building on a family tradition of biscuit making and ensuring all members of the family, predominantly women, are working together to create something truly unique.
LoA heard from Gwynzel this month and learned more about the art of biscuit making and turning a traditional product into a thriving business.
What does your company do?
We specialize in Biscuits, Brownies and Rusks and currently have a range of 11 Biscuits, 3 Brownies and 3 Rusks. We are planning to add more lines to the company in the near future.
"My inspiration came from our Mom having a successful biscuit company when we were young. We always helped her in the kitchen baking and packing and we watched her as she baked dozens of biscuits to sell to have an extra income."
What inspired you to start your company?
Our Mom having a successful biscuit company when we were young. We always helped her in the kitchen baking and packing. We watched her as she baked dozens of biscuits to sell to have an extra income. Due to her hard work and the role model she became for us, we want to be an inspiration to other people to follow their dreams and make it a reality! We are so passionate about food and the baking industry that we want to offer good quality natural products to the consumer that they can enjoy. We want to offer unique products.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
We take pride in our products and our highest attribute is flavour. In order to produce this flavour we source the highest quality natural ingredients. We do not believe in preservatives and substitutes. Our recipes are not interchangeable and we offer unique products that will intrigue every taste bud. In terms of the service we provide, we value the interaction we have with our customers and believe in going the extra mile for them. We love to make that personal connection with them, talking with them, and letting them become part of our family.
"We are so passionate about food and the baking industry that we want to offer good quality natural products to the consumer that they can enjoy."
Tell us a little about your team
We are a family-run business. We are 2 daughters, our mom and dad being part of the team. Elsebie (Mom) & Guzanne (Daughter) are doing all the baking, experimenting with products and coming up with unique products. Gwynzel (Daughter) is the COO of the company and Leon (Dad) is responsible for the marketing. We all contribute to workingtowards one goal and one vision to make this business a success.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
Gwynzel: I went on to study Biokinetics and was working in that industry for 2 years. My dad opened a bakery and I took over the operations of that Bakery. The bakery focused on bread and after 3 years we decided to close that bakery and open the Biscuit Bakery. In the last couple of years we had the privilege of learning from great and inspiring people. Our entrepreneurial journey only started year and a half ago when we started going to seminars and reading more and more books. It is as if a switch was put on. Now we are so invested in this company, but also our other projects we currently do in our spare time. It’s as if we discovered a whole new path, and for me a path where I am my own boss - I had that linger for a long time. It is exciting being an entrepreneur. I also have a business coach and that is a big bonus to me and our business. I am learning every day!
Guzanne: I studied Biokinetics and discovered after 6 months this was not for me. I then relocated to Cape Town where I began my study course as a Pastry Chef. I worked in high end restaurants and worked in a chocolate factory. But during which time I was not happy, predominantly because I could not do my own thing. Then my dreams became a reality and we started Biscuit Artistry. It is a sense of freedom being able to work for yourself and do the things you love. My entrepreneurial journey started a year and a half ago. We started attending seminars and reading books. This has opened a whole new world for me and my family. I have been waiting to start my own thing and be my own boss. I am in my element doing my thing, being an entrepreneur and constantly learning.
"We take pride in our products and our highest attribute is flavour. In order to produce this flavour we source the highest quality natural ingredients."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
We want to grow this business so that it is self sustaining.
We want to grow it so that everybody in South Africa will be able to enjoy our products.
We want to bring in new and never before seen flavours and products.
We aim to also supply the international market!
We want to become a unique brand.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Being able to see that your hard work pays off and that people actually buy your products. Also, being an inspiration to others so that they may also pursue their dreams. Finally, learning and growing every day, and discovering the world of business - it’s an exciting place!
"In terms of the service we provide, we value the interaction we have with our customers and believe in going the extra mile for them."
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Start now and work as hard as you can and when you can, because it takes time. Just start developing your idea, even if it’s just a few hours a week, because it takes time to build the foundation.
Contact or follow Biscuit Artistry
Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we love those women entrepreneurs who are inspired by their family heritage and the skills and traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Gwynzel Henning and her family are building a successful food business with just such a heritage, and in the true spirit of artisan entrepreneurship, are building on years of tradition to create a food brand that is truly unique in the marketplace. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa