From Kitchen Helper to Franchise Owner

Zoleka Msomi

Many people who start out in a business know that opportunities for growth simply don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t magically appear, ready to transform someone’s career. For most working people who are growing their career, success is achieved one step at a time. Zoleka Msomi, new owner of the Sandwich Baron Tuck Shop at Reddford House School, The Hills, knows full well what it takes to start from the bottom and work her way up. Starting off as a member of the kitchen staff in 2003 certainly taught her a few important lessons. She relates the path she travelled to now owning her own successful franchise and shares some tips below.

Being successful starts with the dream to be successful. While it might sound funny that one should actually dream of it, sadly, there are many people out there who are content to stay where they are at. For some, reaching the top just means additional work. Although my journey with Sandwich Baron began in the kitchen, I had big dreams of making a success of my working life and I believed in my own ability to achieve this. I kept a positive attitude in my work and showed my employer loyalty and commitment. In no time, I was promoted to a cashier, then store manager and later support manager. Taking one step at a time, I built strong relationships with my colleagues and superiors. I was determined to have a positive attitude and to show appreciation for every good thing along the way – all because of that dream.

Of course to make something of your career, you can’t stagnate. You need to keep learning to keep growing. As I moved upwards through these roles, I learned a lot about the company as well as the franchising concept and also got to know Sandwich Baron's Managing Director, Sally J'Arlette-Joy. I learned about the history and purpose of the company and, through my role as a support manager, I watched other franchisees’ businesses growing and thriving. It was very motivating and through my learnings I began to ask myself, why not me?

Lastly, success and initiative are linked together. Without showing initiative, interest and commitment, I would have never grown as I did and I would have never been able to get myself to a position where I was actually chosen to be part of the tuck shop concept. Sandwich Baron launched this exciting new initiative to set up tuck shops at schools in order to provide healthy and nutritious meals during the busy school day. By pre-ordering and paying online, the initiative not only saves the parents time and effort, but also gives them the peace of mind of knowing that their children are enjoying freshly made meals that are good for them, instead of them snacking on sugary or starchy food.

While I am delighted to be a new store owner and one of the first to own a Sandwich Baron tuck shop, I am still hungry for more. And that’s the thing with success. It’s not just one destination, it’s a journey - one that is continually moving forward to a new pit stop. What drives the journey? Learning, taking initiative and dreaming some more – no matter how long you are stuck in the same place.

Once, owning my own store was just a dream and now it is a reality, but I won’t let my growth stop here. Now I’m dreaming of owning a much bigger independent store in the not too distant future. I’ve proved to the franchise and to myself that I am capable of being a triumphant in business. The journey, therefore, has only begun.

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