Vegan bakery started during Covid-19 now supplies more than 40 Checkers stores

November 2, 2022 (Last Updated: November 9, 2022)

Yum Baker started in a home kitchen during the Covid-19 lockdown, when Heidi Dempers’ job in the tourism industry was no longer enough to make ends meet.

Today, she supplies vegan treats to over 40 Checkers supermarkets in Johannesburg and has also developed an exclusive vegan festive range for them.

Photo: Shoprite Checkers

Although Dempers didn’t initially start out with vegan-friendly bakes, she soon realised there is a gap in the market for vegan sweet treats – especially South African favourites. The products she supplies are all local delicacies adapted from her grandmother’s recipes and transformed into vegan treats. These treats include rusks, fudge, peppermint tart, malva pudding, lamingtons and more.

In April 2021, she started supplying one Checkers store from her home kitchen in Northriding, Johannesburg. In just over a year, Yum Baker’s range has expanded from 15 to 19 product lines. These are available for delivery via Sixty60 as well as more than 40 Checkers stores in the Johannesburg area, with plans to supply 50 before the end of 2022.

Dempers says:

“It was so refreshing to learn that a big corporate like Checkers still fosters small businesses. Every little thing that comes from Yum Baker has come past my hands and Checkers has ensured that home-baked vegan treats are more accessible to thousands of consumers through its retail footprint.”

“Our Group understands the key role we can play in the success of small and emerging suppliers through the access we offer them to our large consumer market. We want to particularly further enhance the participation of female-owned businesses like Yum Baker, to help sustain and grow their business,” says Maude Modise, General Manager for Enterprise and Supplier Development at the Shoprite Group.

The limited-edition festive range – which includes fruit cake, fruit mince pies and tinned biscuits – are now available in Checkers stores across South Africa.

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Feature Image: Shoprite Checkers

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