How Siphelele Zekani Found Success With His 043 Sweet Garlic Sauce. Siphelele Zekani, 29, is the proud owner of 043 Sweet Garlic Sauce, which supplies numerous Spar stores in East London, Eastern Cape. Originally from Idutywa, also in the Eastern Cape, Zekani has had a passion for cooking since high school.
“While studying forestry at the University of Fort Hare, I continued to enjoy cooking and decided in 2017 to turn my hobby into something I could earn money from. I was selling hot dogs, sausage rolls and wings on the streets, but wanted something that would make my food stand out. I started searching the internet for exotic sauce flavours,” Zekani told Sowetan Live.
Zekani was drawn to garlic and started refining the taste. “I mix the ingredients, cook it on table boilers, blend it to remove lumps and package it into 375ml bottles with stickers on them.” His one challenge was preserving the sauce. “I did not know what chemical to use to extend the shelf life until I put more effort into online research.” said Zekani to Sowetan Live.
Zekani supplies five Spar outlets with his garlic sauce. “My sauce manufacturing is still quite traditional hence I am only supplying five stores. My production capacity is in its infancy, but I plan to have a nationwide distribution link and to also export overseas. I also want to establish stand-alone sauce shops in a number of towns across the country. This will double as a marketing tool.” Zekani added.
Spar Idutywa’s store manager Bonginkosi Ntangashe said the sauce is selling well. “Every week we place a new order because of how fast it goes off the shelves. I think customers recognise it and the price is affordable.”
According to Zekani’s LinkedIn account, 043 initially started as a Chesa Nyama back in 2018 but now it is a manufacturing company directed by Zekani in East London. “I first introduced 043 Sweet Garlic Sauce in 2018 and introduced 043 Mint Sauce in 2021. After a long time of direct selling in the streets, last year (2020) during the beginning of Lockdown I started a journey of supplying retail stores.” He said.