Her product, Ghemere Ginger Beer, gained major popularity during the 2020 and 2021 lockdown period. And now, Mpho is branching out even more, taking her product to resellers around South Africa with the support of the Firstwatch brand right behind her.
Mpho comments, “So much has happened since the challenge and we are really happy with the progress we have made thanks to Firstwatch. Through the challenge we gained media backing which helped us pick up a lot of interest from new customers.
“Our product is currently available on Takealot.com, in selected Food Lovers’ Market stores and via our website www.preciousandpearl.com. We have also expanded our footprint even more with our Ghemere Edition Gift Pack in partnership with Firstwatch Whisky. These special gift packs are available in Makro stores nationwide.”
Mpho is a chemical engineer turned entrepreneur who founded Precious and Pearl Brands, the home of Ghemere Ginger Beer. In the creation of her brainchild, an all-natural, traditional beverage, Mpho set out to maintain the nostalgic, traditional authenticity of South African ginger beer.
Ghemere is a non-alcoholic ginger beer, available in concentrate or ready-to-drink bottles. Ginger Beer has been enjoyed by South African families for years, and the emotional connection Mpho and many South Africans feel with the drink’s unique flavour gave rise to the brand’s slogan, “Rooted In Taste.”
Mpho’s long-term vision is to turn Ghemere into a household brand that can be enjoyed by all. “Being associated with a big brand like Firstwatch has opened doors for us, lending more credibility to our brand and considerably elevating our brand visibility.
Our increased production output has allowed us to focus on expanding the business and we can’t wait to take Ghemere to more South Africans around the country.”
Lauren Justus, Brand Portfolio Head at Edward Snell & Co, Distributors of Firstwatch Whisky, adds, “Right from the beginning of the challenge in 2019, we saw something exceptional and unique in Mpho.
“She was very curious, intrigued by the others around her and was extremely willing to learn from them to see how she could be better.”
“Mpho is always open to sharing advice and experiences that can help other entrepreneurs. On the evening of the finale, she was incredibly well-prepared and that really struck us. Her dedication, knowledge and passion are what won her the competition and those attributes are helping her business go from strength to strength today.”
“Mpho embodies the success we aim to see from participants in our Firstwatch Entrepreneur’s Challenge. Our company purpose is encapsulated in our credo; ‘The pursuit of greatness for good’. In honouring that, as a brand, we hope to educate our population for the purpose of social upliftment.“
“Meeting true consumer needs – especially upliftment and education – delivers on our brand purpose, and that goes beyond products on shelves. It means bringing value to people wherever we can.”
Since 2019, the beginning of her whirlwind entrepreneurial journey, Mpho has achieved several milestones, including being granted a food safety certificate for her product, engaging with multiple major retailers, negotiating product placement in-store and gaining a loyal customer base online and through word of mouth
So, what comes next for South Africa’s up and coming entrepreneurial champion?
Mpho concludes, “I am so grateful that I was able to be recognised for my ideas and the work I have put in. Winning the challenge was an accolade that I am determined to continue to live up to and build upon.“
“They say, ‘You can’t eat an elephant all at once,’ and I plan to move ahead step-by-step, but Ghemere is going places and we are seeing movement every day. We have faith in our product, and the network I have connected with because of the challenge continues to move us forward.“
“I hope that we can inspire other entrepreneurs to trust in themselves and work towards their dreams. With hard work and preparation, anything is possible.”
To find out more about the First Watch Entrepreneurs’ Challenge and the winners of the 2022 competition, visit https://firstwatchwhisky.co.za/.