When Susan Maake puts her faith in something she makes sure she gives 100 percent! Whether it’s the 22 years she devoted as a nurse working for the Department of Health to her work as a pastor for the Christian Faith Assembly, she believes in making a difference not only in her life but in the lives of others.
A few years ago, Susan decided that she wanted a change in career and that it was time that she pursued her dream of owning her own business. Armed with her savings and pension, she identified OBC Chicken & Meat as the business she wanted and set out to become OBC’s first black female franchisee.
Robbie Capazorio, Business Development Manager at OBC Chicken & Meat remembers that first meeting with Susan. “Even though she had no experience in retailing or business, she came armed with determination, passion and, as she proudly told me, her church’s blessing. Little did we know that we at OBC would be learning as much from Susan Maake as she would learn from us!”
As OBC Chicken & Meat’s first black female franchisee, Susan Maake brings a unique perspective to what is predominantly a male-dominated industry. As a housewife and mother of four children, with strong ties to the community in Phalaborwa, Susan understands what shoppers want from their favourite chicken and meat retailer and has become invaluable in working with head office on guiding them on traditional tastes and trends, on which new products will work and on how the customer wants their chicken or meat prepared. Says Robbie, “There is no doubt that as a woman entrepreneur, Susan excels in not only being an excellent franchisee, but her attention to detail and her insight into what the consumer wants is exceptional.”
Susan Maake can’t quite believe that she has become a successful businesswoman and remembers her formative years when she sold fruit and vegetables on week-ends to help her unemployed mother, disabled father and supported her siblings. “I’m a great believer that everything is possible in life if you’re ready for it and my goal is to continue leading with strength, integrity and courage – not only in my business but making a difference in my community.”
Susan was soon offered a second OBC store with funding from the NEF. According to Morne Van Dyk, OBC’s Legal Advisor, Susan ticked all the boxes to becoming a multiple store owner. “Once she proved herself with her first store we were keen to use her leadership qualities and talents as a franchisee to open another store. We facilitated the loan through the NEF, doing all the paperwork and negotiations but ultimately it is Susan who is making her dream come true through hard work and determination.”
Buying a franchise was the best way to go into business for myself, but not by myself” says Susan. “I did not have to start from scratch and had not only a good, established brand but the business and administration support from my franchisor that help me every step of the way. Knowing I am part of a successful franchise family, I am able to use my own experience as a nurse, housewife and pastor to make a difference in the lives of my staff, my customers and my community.”