Entrepreneur reaping sweet benefits from his granny’s jam recipe

Product gaining popularity in community

Gontse Selaocoe’s jam business has put him on the path of sweet success.
Gontse Selaocoe’s jam business has put him on the path of sweet success.
Image: Vukuzenzele

Gontse Selaocoe’s jam business has put him on the path of sweet success.

When Selaocoe’s grandmother used home-grown tomatoes to make jam, he watched with interest. Today, he is a budding entrepreneur, thanks to her delicious jam recipe.

Selaocoe, 22, from Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, is the owner of All Day Jam, which has gained popularity in his community.

After his grandmother taught him how to make jam, he commercialised the recipe and harvests most of the ingredients from his garden.

“I used to help my grandfather work in the garden. When it was time for harvesting, my grandmother used to make tomato and yellow melon jam for my siblings and me,” he says.

When Selaocoe was in grade 11, he took part in the Step Up 2 Start-up competition, an initiative between the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and Primestars Marketing, which took pupils to cinemas to watch entrepreneurship-inspiring movies and supplied them with resources to come up with a business idea.

“My dreams began manifesting when I took part in the competition. When I shared my idea for the jam business with my grandmother, she supported me from day one, educating me and assisting in the kitchen.

“After completing matric, I started All Day Jam. The business was influenced and motivated by my grandmother,” says Selaocoe.

He now makes four jams – pear, melon, tomato and peach – but has plans to grow the business. “I am working very hard to distribute my jam to those who know about it. I’m looking forward to growing my market, getting land and equipment and a bigger place to cook and store the jam,” he says.

Selaocoe’s advice to youth is to research agriculture and agro-processing. “There are lots of opportunities in the agriculture sector and lots of products young people can make to grow the economy.”

He says youngsters should make a start despite limited resources because if they wait for everything to first fall into place, they will never get their dreams off the ground.  

This article first appeared in GCIS's Vuk'uzenzele 

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