Alumna on the crest of a wave in meals trade

A Difficult being pregnant and a son who was born prematurely at 30 weeks, weighing solely 739g, couldn’t deter CPUT alumna Christynn Jacobs’ plan to turn out to be the primary black feminine jam producer in South Africa and constructing a legacy for “our youngsters and the generations to come back”.

The Hermanus-born businesswoman grew up in a phenomenal, small fishing village referred to as Hawston, the place she attended the native major faculty. She matriculated at Hermanus Excessive College in 2003. In 2004 Jacobs enrolled for a Bachelor’s diploma in Science at Stellenbosch College however she dropped out as “I used to be nonetheless not sure of what profession path I needed to observe”. She took a spot yr earlier than deciding to pursue a profession in meals, so she enrolled at CPUT in 2006, the place she  accomplished her BTech in Meals Expertise in 2009.

After her research, Jacobs labored very onerous at constructing a profitable profession.  “I labored within the meals trade for about 10 years. I focussed on gaining as a lot expertise to in the end work for myself, which meant making sacrifices, working onerous, lengthy and after hours. I managed to construct a really comfy life for myself and determined to threat all of it to begin my very own enterprise.”

Her humble beginnings in Hawston, which is a really close-knit group, and the place folks look out for one another has nurtured Jacobs to “keep humble and at all times keep in mind the place I come from”.

 “I used to be very lucky to develop up in a big, loving household, that was at all times supportive.  I realized quite a bit from them.  Individuals are very expensive to my coronary heart and that’s why it’s necessary for me to provide again to my group,” she enthuses.

The hardworking, tenacious 35-year-old entrepreneur who units very excessive requirements for herself and others and her husband, Nigel, who can be her enterprise accomplice, registered their Jacobs Jam Firm in 2019.  Shortly after, the couple realized that they had been anticipating their firstborn little one. Throughout this time, they had been busy establishing the enterprise which included writing the marketing strategy, sourcing finance, growing merchandise, sourcing, and designing the tools and processes, and so forth. “I had an advanced being pregnant and our son was born prematurely at 30 weeks, weighing solely 739 grams. He was within the Intensive Care Unit for 72 days. This meant the household room on the hospital grew to become our workplace and boardroom. It was a really difficult time, however we managed to push by means of and make it work.”

Their “very first industrial manufacturing run was on 6 November 2020 and virtually precisely a yr later, on the twenty sixth of November 2021, we obtained the titles of Entrepreneurs of the Yr 2021; Greatest Rising Enterprise and Greatest Total Enterprise on the Western Cape Entrepreneurial Awards. This was a particularly proud second”.

“Beginning this enterprise has given me independence and the artistic freedom to use my abilities and data to make my very own selections that’s essential to the success of the enterprise. I get to work within the subject that’s actually my ardour. However most significantly, what I needed to attain was to be extra versatile and spend extra time with my household. By beginning this enterprise I’ve achieved that and there’s nothing extra rewarding,” Jacobs continues.

“It is very important work onerous as a way to make a snug residing, nevertheless it’s pointless working your self to dying and never benefit from the fruits of your labour alongside the way in which.” 

Up till now their enterprise focus has been on manufacturing jam and primarily for the Western Cape, nevertheless they wish to develop the enterprise, increase into different areas, and improve their product traces.  “I’m at present engaged on the event of different merchandise, equivalent to juices, sauces in addition to bompies (ice lollies), which can launch later this yr. The basics, mentorship, and help that I not solely acquired from the college, but in addition my accomplice Nigel, who can be an alumnus of CPUT, is pivotal.  It enabled us to begin a enterprise from scratch and make it the success it’s in the present day.”

She attributes her success to onerous work, perseverance and sacrifice. “For me it’s necessary to construct a stable basis for my youngsters and provides them the alternatives that I didn’t essentially have rising up.

“The following mega meals group should nonetheless be born, and we’re decided to be it.”  The couple has labored for giant corporations and climbed the company ladder all the way in which to the highest. “I, being a meals technologist and his background as a fast-moving client items marketer is a uncommon discover. It simply made sense to mix our experience and data of the trade to begin our personal enterprise inside the meals trade.”

Reflecting on juggling between work and household, Jacobs says: “We’re at all times jamming at Jacobs family. When I’m not at work, I spend high quality time with my household, whether or not it’s doing actions at residence or going out and having fun with what our lovely area has to supply.”

Written by Aphiwe Boyce