One of the pioneering bakery in Nkawkaw, in the Kwahu West Municipality of the Eastern Region, OA Bakery is worth celebrating considering the humble beginning of this industrious company which has employed over 100 permanent workers who receive monthly salaries and another large number of young people [non-permanent staff] who depend on the sale of of bread and other products for their livelihood.
Nyankonton Mu Nsem Wo Npatamu te sen train caught up with the Chief Executive Officer of OA Bakery, Madam Grace Asaa who shared her story with us on how she started the over 50 years existing company.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Kwadwo Asiedu Ansah, she said, she begun the bakery in the year 1966 with just a half bag of flour which she bought on credit.
According to her, at the time she started the business, sugar was a scarce commodity so she had to extract the sugary content from the sugar fruit and process it to turn it into sugar and later use it for the baking.
Madam Asaa indicated, she sold her product on credit to her prospective buyers when she baked her first bread which she noted was not easy for her considering that she was just an infant business without any source of financial support.
''Things became very difficult for me when former President Rawlings took office; flour became scarce which nearly lead me out of business but i persevered and keep the spirit high until i begun baking three assorted bread including brown, sugar, tea and butter bread then later i added biscuits which we did by man power because we had no means of advanced technology,''she stated.
''I traveled to villages to sell my bread which majority of my customers bought on credit and payed later but i never gave up because i was convinced things will turn up well for me since my bread tasted good and that was what got me more buyers who told others about my products and the news kept spreading.''
Madam Grace Asaa said one of her greatest joy was when the Standards Board standardized her products and declared it safe for public consumption encouraging her to urge on with the business which today is a household product in Ghanaian homes and other sister countries.
She posited that, she is much happier today to see her business grow to this stage employing and feeding families who depend on the bakery for their sustenance.
She revealed many of her workers had bought and built homes and invested in a number of infrastructural projects after years of dedicated service to the OA Bakery.
Government should assist businesses o thrive
Madam Grace Asaa called on government to create a conducive atmosphere to enable small scale businesses and the private sector in general to thrive.
According to her, if the private sector thrives, businesses would expand and employ more young people and further help reduce the rate of youth unemployment in the country.
She said, young people are her number one priority because she wants to see them flourish and the only way they can do so is to have sustainable jobs and skills to make them self dependent.
One thing she called on government to ensure it supports them in doing is to support the companies that provides them with the raw materials in manufacturing their products so they get them on time and deliver to their prospective buyers on time.
When asked why she has refused to retire and hand over the business to her children, she said, she wants to be part of the company as it continue to thrive and until her last breath she still feels her contribution is still needed.
OA Bakery currently employs the use of machines and other tools to manufacture their products reducing the level of manpower after starting with nothing 50 years ago.
Madam Grace Asaa urged young people who have started very small businesses to be focused, dedicated and continue to invest their time efforts and resources into growing their businesses because they will sure reap their investment without regret.