Behind major brands and businesses are resilient individuals who mostly began with little seed capital, and had to battle the opposing force of life to attain success.
Godfred Obeng Boateng, the CEO of A1 Bread, one of Ghana’s biggest brand in the bread-making business is one of those resilient individuals. With a seed capital of GH¢1,400.00 which he borrowed from his mother, Godfred Obeng Boateng started his A1 bread-making business from a garage in Kumasi and sold them on the streets, whilst studying at KNUST.
Godfred Obeng Boatend saw a business opportunity with the absence of a well-known bread brand in his locality. He therefore capitalized on the opportunity, and commenced the production of the A1 bread brand.
Godfred Obeng Boateng recounted in an interview two years ago how he burnt up several loaves of bread before finding his foothold in the bread-making process and how the company was out of business 3 weeks after it began.
“I was thrown out of business after 3 weeks, after I had borrowed money from my mother to start the business. I borrowed GHC1400 from her as seed capital. Apparently, my friend who rented his uncle’s garage to me, kept the money instead of giving it to his aunt so they came to throw us out,” he said.
In 2017, while selling A1 bread on the street, he was spotted by popular Ghanaian Actor, John Dumelo, and a photo of Godfred was taking by John Dumelo and posted on Instagram with the words
“Just saw a KNUST grad hawking in traffic.. what went wrong?”
Some sections of the public thought it was wrong for John Dumelo to post such a statement on social media. John’s post soon became a subject of controversy.
Godfred Obeng Boateng was however not derailed by the comment but rather used it to his advantage. As people kept wondering about the brand, he kept on boosting his supply and satisfying their curiosity.
Popular Ghanaian music producer Hammer of the Last Two Music Group, who knew Godfred Obeng decided to partner with Godfred and together expanded the A1 brand from Kumasi to Accra.
“He (Godfred) watched me change people’s lives and he has done similar in his industry. I’ve known him for a while in Kumasi; I told him the potential in Accra and I told him about why he needs to set up in Accra and so he gave me the task, and I made sure that A1 bread comes to Accra,” Hammer said in an interview.
“Most of the people selling on the streets are my rappers. People who want to rap; who worry me they have a demo; they are all making money now,” he further said.
According to Hammer, he makes lots of money from A1 Bread than he did in the music business.
Towards the end of 2018, Godfred Obeng revealed his company makes a total of 60,000 bread daily, 30,000 loaves of bread in Kumasi, and about 30,000 in Accra respectively. He sells each loaf of bread at GH¢5.00. Working on the mathematics, A1 generates a gross income of GH¢300,000.00 daily which translates to GH¢9,000,000.00 per month, holding all factors constant. This is a great feat.
Barriers to entry
A1 bread made plans to expand its business to the Central Region targeting Cape-Coast. His distributors, however, were “chased away” by the members of the Cape Coast Bakers Association and their distributors.
In a report, the secretary of the Cape-Coast Bakers Association, Mimi Walker said, allowing A1 bread in Cape-Coast will tarnish the already battling bakeries in the metropolis.
Godfred Obeng Boateng is however not deterred by the actions in Cape-Coast and is much more focused on expanding his business across parts of the country.
In December of last year, the management of A1 Bakery distributed loaves of bread with fan ice to many Ghanaians on the streets of Accra as both a Christmas gift and a means of expressing their appreciation to its numerous customers.
Giving the feat that his business has achieved, former president Jerry John Rawlings, in 2018, commended Godfred Obeng Boateng for his creativity in establishing a bread business that has become a household name.