Best friends realise family business potential with opening of new Ndofaya Market

Dreams come true with the Pick n Pay Market Store Programme

Tshepo Modikoane and Vula Mthoba have been best friends for 30 years. They grew up working in Tshepo’s parents’ shop in Meadowlands during the school holidays. Their longstanding friendship reached new heights as they became the proud new owners of Ndofaya Market – in the very spot Tshepo’s parents used to run their family business.

Ndofaya Market forms part of Pick n Pay’s market store programme, which sees the retailer partnering with independent traders, in conjunction with provincial governments and other funding partners, to help upgrade local stores and grow a new generation of modern retail entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the opening, Tshepo explains that his family has been part of the area for a long time. “My family opened a liquor outlet and takeaway store in 1991, and our family has always lived within a few streets of the family business. After my father could no longer work, my mother took over the business before the shop was eventually rented out.”

We believe the programme’s success lies in a genuine and mutual partnership between Pick n Pay and independent traders.

But developing the family business has always been at the back of Tshepo’s mind.

“I was looking for an attractive retail model and when Vula heard about Pick n Pay’s programme, he suggested we use my family’s building to open a market store. We began our research and the programme had everything I wanted – access to good products, a reliable supply chain, and the look and feel of the business just felt right.”

Apart from being old friends, each partner brings unique strengths to their new business venture.

Before returning to the family business, Tshepo obtained a BA in Social Sciences at UCT, and then worked in logistics for 15 years. He is delighted that the store will be linked to Pick n Pay’s distribution centre and supply chain.

Vula worked for Vodacom’s franchise division, helping open new stores for more than 13 years, and later launched a construction business with his brother-in-law. This saw his first interaction with Pick n Pay, when working on a market store conversion.

The co-owners are very excited about their new store, which will include a butchery, bakery, a grocery offering stocked with more than 1 300 lines, a liquor store, and third-party services. Customers can also use Pick n Pay’s Smart Shopper loyalty card. “We look forward to serving the community and offering them a great brand close to home,” says Vula.

Located on a busy taxi route, Tshepo and Vula’s new store has employed 15 permanent staff members from the local community. “We’ve got a good mix of experienced staff, including young people. It’s great to be able to give them this opportunity,” says Tshepo.

“We are 100% owners of the store, but with support from Pick n Pay we can be more present in our business, instead of spending time sourcing stock. Access to Pick n Pay’s well-established distribution centres is going to lift us to the next level,” says Tshepo.

Tshepo says that the local community he grew up in looked forward to the opening. “This store is going to make a big difference to Meadowlands Zones 7, 8, and 9.”

The partnership with Pick n Pay ensures independent traders can remain 100% independent, while still growing their businesses and adding jobs to their communities. Customers benefit from an expanded range of quality products and services at competitive prices close to where they live.

To date, 26 stores have opened since the programme launched in 2016 and the entrepreneurs have successfully grown their shops. Some have even opened a second store, such as Ola’s Market in Bophelong.

“We believe the programme’s success lies in a genuine and mutual partnership between Pick n Pay and independent traders. We are able to provide access to our systems and distribution infrastructure, as well as retail best practices, while independent traders have intimate knowledge of their customer needs, access to small suppliers and stores that are conveniently located near customers,” says Richard van Rensburg, the chief information officer at Pick n Pay.