MEET SIHLE MAGUBANE, SOUTH AFRICA’S FIRST BLACK OWNER OF A COFFEE BRANDGGDA Web Admin
Kwa-Zulu Natal born Sihle Magubane of Sihle’s Brew, is the first black owner of a coffee brand in South Africa and one of the thousands of entrepreneurs who have taken advantage of some of GGDA’s offerings to enhance his business growth.
His journey with coffee started by chance, after meeting Roberto Monterrage whom he met whilst working at the Hilton Festival. “Monterrage offered me an opportunity to learn how to make coffee professionally. I took up the challenge – which meant that I had to pack my bags and relocate from Durban to Johannesburg after matriculating” enthused Magubane.
Magubane says he learnt a lot about coffee from Monterrage and it is while he was employed as a barista that he realised there was an opportunity for him to do more in the coffee industry. He also understands the challenges that come with entrepreneurship and has had his fair share of lived experiences about the ups and
downs of entrepreneurship. “My journey has been tough. I have learned that passion alone is not good enough. Agility and constant learning are of paramount importance” says Magubane. “There was a time when my car was involved in an accident and I had to fulfil coffee orders using public transport. This affected my delivery targets and customer expectations but the hard work and the help I have received along my journey from those who extended a helping hand and organisations such as the GDDA has been a blessing”.
Today, Magubane is the proud owner of Sihle’s Brew which opened its doors in 2012 and employs 18 full-time staff. A coffee expert in his own right, Magubane manufactures his own ground coffee with beans he imports from Central America, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Guatemala and Brazil. Magubane produces five signature blends of 100% arabica, including the original (light chocolate toffee with a hint of tropical fruit) and the signature (dark chocolate hazelnut with a spicy note) blends.
Sihle’s Brew boasts an impressive client base that includes Pick ‘n Pay stores nationwide, 32 Food Lovers market stores, as well as 10 Spar outlets. Pick ‘n Pay has also contracted Magubane to manufacture its no-name brand which is distributed nationally.
Magubane is constantly working on expanding his brand’s reach as well as his manufacturing business and hopes to expand to the rest of the African continent and then the world. He encourages fellow South African entrepreneurs to take advantage of the assistance that the GGDA offered him. “I learnt about the GGDA three years ago when I was on a trade show in Nigeria showcasing my products and they have made a significant contribution to my growing business.