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Lawyer turned baker: Datsun supports local entrepreneurial dream

2019-10-04 10:00

Charlen Raymond


Image: MotorPress

‘Just follow your dreams’ is perhaps one of the most-heard phrases any young person will ever hear. And sometimes hearing it just a little too much can irritate the living daylights out of you.

But for Babette Kourelos there was nothing to think about as she traded life in the corporate lane for the kitchen. With two years left on her BA LLB degree, Kourelos suddenly found herself in love with baking bread and made it her mission to turn her hobby into an occupation.

Over the years, she had built herself quite a reputation and would eventually be supplying fresh bread to numerous independent stores across Johannesburg.

She said: “I started small, from home, and eventually found myself driving all over Johannesburg delivering bread to specialty restaurants, delis and independent coffee shops.”


                                 Image: MotorPress

Pushing through

To fuel her passion, Kourelos, after graduating, moved to Vermont, USA for a few months to follow an apprenticeship in bread baking (no, really. We’re not joking). Under the guidance of her 73-year-old instructor, she quickly caught on and was soon getting the tricks of the trade under the knee. During her sessions, she was not allowed to use any form of technology and the wi-fi on the premises was only used to make contact with her family in South Africa.

Notes were taken the old fashioned way by dotting them down in a notepad and hands-on training was the order of the day. Kourelos says that her instructor had a reputation for being ruthless when classes commenced and that trainees would quit like flies. One even called it quits after just a day!

But she kept her head down and already after her first week was taught some of her instructor's greater secrets to baking bread. Something her teacher seldom did with anyone. Sadly, her instructor passed away at the end of 2018.

When she returned to South Africa a few years ago, she started her own bakery and soon ‘Babette’s Bread’ was born.


                                 Image: MotorPress

Flour power

Kourelos has her own bakery in Maboneng, central Johannesburg, from where she runs her business. The area, she says, is ripe for young entrepreneurs who are starting new businesses. And the rent isn’t too hectic, either! 

As her business expanded, she soon realised that she’d need to appoint staff to assist with deliveries and other aspects of the business. Her role would be to attract new customers and, of course, to bake bread. Kourelos can easily bake up to 120 breads per day!

Kourelos says: “When it comes to baking, patience and love are key. And for up-and-coming entrepreneurs, stay true to the value you’re bringing.”


                                 Image: MotorPress

Datsun supports local

Datsun is no stranger to local businesses. Its vehicles are often times the preferred choice; especially because of their affordability and low running costs.  

Hide Kuwayama, Datsun SA’s new managing director, says: “Datsun is pleased to be able to support all types of businesses. Whether you are an entrepreneur that just started out and you are looking for an economical car that will enable your business operations, Datsun has a hard-working fleet to rely on.”

READ: 2019 AA Kinsey Report - The Datsun GO is the most economical city car to service or repair

The Datsun GO is available in both hatchback and seven-seat configuration, the latter named the GO+. Both body types retail from R154 500 and R164 600, respectively, and are offered with a six-year or 150 000km warranty. Both models are powered by a three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine that produces 50kW and 104Nm, and power is sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.

Datsun SA says: “Our vehicles have proven to be quite popular with entrepreneurs looking for economical cars they can count on. The annual Kinsey Report, which is regarded as the most comprehensive survey of motoring costs, found that - for the fourth year in a row - the Datsun GO was South Africa’s most affordable car to service.”


                                 Image: MotorPress

Read more on:    datsun  |  charlen raymond  |  datsun go  |  entrepreneur

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