Business

This bakery had six workers in 1994, today it employs 105 people

Business Insider SA
Crispe Cookies Easter Confectionery (Supplied)
Crispe Cookies Easter Confectionery (Supplied)
  • Crispe Cookies, a Cape Town-based bakery, has been operating for almost 30 years.
  • The bakery started with six employees, and today it employs more than 100 people thanks to its relationship with the Shoprite Group.
  • Crispe Cookies started supplying Shoprite and Checkers with milk tarts and cakes in 1997.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Crispe Cookies, a bakery based in Cape Town, has supplied cakes and other confectionaries to the Shoprite group for almost 30 years, and today employs more than 100 employees thanks to the relationship with the giant retailer.

Roughly 80% of the hundreds of thousands of baked goods it makes every year goes to Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets.

It was founded in 1994 as a wholesale biscuit manufacturer, supplying dry biscuits in 20-litre buckets to small businesses.

Crispe Cookies (Supplied)
Crispe Cookies (Supplied)

“Back then, we supplied small bakeries, who had displays of bakery goods, with biscuits in 20kg buckets."

“This allowed them to only fill up their displays when required, ensuring the biscuits stayed fresher for longer,” said the founder of Crispe Cookies, Wesley Horstmann.

Almost three years after launching, Crispe Cookies added milk tarts to their offering after becoming one of the suppliers for the Shoprite group.

“In 1997 – 28 years ago – we started supplying Shoprite and Checkers with milk tarts and four different varieties of cake. Today we supply them nationally with cupcakes, cakes, and brownies."

Their most famous cake, one that combines chocolate and vanilla, is still a firm favourite among customers and has been on Shoprite’s shelves for more than 26 years. 

Crispe Cookies early products (Supplied)
Crispe Cookies early products (Supplied)

Seasonal favourites

Having sold hundreds of thousands of units, Crispe Cookies confectioners have become customer favourites nationally.

Demand especially rises during the Easter period, the festive season, and other holidays, and this has given the company a chance to come up with new products relevant to the occasion.

Crispe Cookies Easter Confectionery 2 (Supplied)
Crispe Cookies Easter Confectionery (Supplied)

“Easter and Christmas, as well as Mother’s and Father’s Day, are always important days for us, and together with our clients, we conceptualise new creations to celebrate these occasions. This enables us to constantly innovate and stay on top of trends,” Horstmann said.

Job creation

From six employees in the 1990s, the business now employs over 100 people and has been able to hire four more to meet demand over the recent Easter weekend.

Crispe Cookies Employees (Supplied)
Crispe Cookies Employees (Supplied)

“We currently have 105 employees – 10% of who have been with the company for more than 22 years – who make all our products by hand.

“Our staff capacity has almost doubled in the last five years (from 50 to 97) due to our ongoing relationship with Shoprite and Checkers,” Horstmann said.

Despite the pandemic, the company continued to see growth. It grew 18% in 2021 and Horstmann anticipates that it will double this growth in the next two to three years.

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