As a little girl, Maggie Steyn enjoyed spending time helping her mother in the kitchen with baking and cooking, but with a dream that one day she would create a range of cakes under her own brand. Over the years, she gained experience in the restaurant trade, helping her father after school hours at her busy restaurant located in Goodwood, Cape Town.
Upon finishing her studies, Maggie set out on the journey to fulfill her dream. She gained business administration knowledge in highly competitive retail and management experience as a branch manager in the Foschini Group of stores, as well as in the international corporations of Old Mutual and Sanlam.
However, Maggie never forgot her childhood ambition to want to professionally bake cupcakes. She married her husband Stephen, a farmer, and became a part of rural life on her farm, Soutfontein, located between Malmesbury and Moorreesburg in Swartland, of the Western Cape in South Africa. She raised four children, Steven, Emma, Lara, Jana, and began to make her dream of baking cupcakes come true!
With a start-up capital of just R262, he bought his first batch of flour and started baking biscuits in a small oven, with just two baking trays. Her first real business venture was as a vendor at a local Wine Festival, selling jams, cookies and biscuits from a plastic table. However, among the customers who bought cupcakes from Maggie were the managers of local branches of major grocery stores.
This opportunity helped fuel Maggie’s dream of success, because she was asked if she would bake cupcakes for their stores!
From humble beginnings, Maggie has grown into a thriving business success story. Taking on the challenge of producing her own biscuits for resale, the first building she used to bake was the original 17th century farmhouse that soon became too small for her business. Ella’s current efficient, modern and hygienic factory built on the estate is now equipped with two commercial ovens, with a third about to be purchased.
Maggie is making her dream come true as demand for her homemade cupcakes grows. Maggie was chosen to enter a business incubator program conducted by a major retailer; designed to encourage selected small businesses to reach their full potential.
Maggie’s dream and continuing ambition is to achieve her future goals of satisfying and creating greater consumer demand for her “Maggie se Spens” biscuits, nationally and internationally. In turn, her satisfaction will be in giving employment to many people, who today do not have a job and struggle to survive. Maggie is living her dream, proving to all potential entrepreneurs that anything they can envision is possible.