In conversation with Hezron Louw

Hezron Louw is the owner of Sumting Fresh restaurant and gourmet street food. Photo: eNCA

JOHANNESBURG - Never, ever give up on your dreams.

These are the words of Tsogo Sun's Entrepreneur of the Year, Hezron Louw.

Louw is the owner of Sumting Fresh restaurant and gourmet street food.

eNCA sat down with Hezron to discuss his life, goals and the moment he heard his name read out.

Who is Hezron Louw?

Hezron Louw is the son of Isabelle Louw (she raised me by herself, along with three other kids).

I lived in Ennerdale for most of my young life where I attended school.

After school, I studied towards a degree in accounting and worked at one of the four major banks before I decided to live my dream.

I started my business with Andrew Leeuw -- a small food stall on the side of the road selling sexy street food.

I love food. I think I don't eat to live, I live to eat!

What did you take away from the competition?

I did not expect to win! To be honest, I didn't even prepare a speech.

Being a part of the competition has taught me that anything is possible.

The other finalists are such wonderful people and each so different from the other and I took away a lot from them.

From Divina (Dawkinun) I learnt patience. She was always telling me to calm down.

Ronnie (Nemukula) is confidence personified and he really walks in that way.

Noli (Mini) is one of the most persistent people I have ever met and I learnt from her that you can have what you want if you fight for it.

And from Nicole (Msibi) I learnt that your strength must come from within.

What are your goals for the next year?

I would like to build a business model that is scalable and that we can sell as a franchise.

I would also like to complete a central hub that is able to service the whole model and continue to work with Thusong House to empower more young South Africans.

What satisfies you most about your job? 

The smiles. I love seeing my customers smile when they eat.

I love seeing the smiles on staff's faces when they achieve great things.

And I love the smile on my mom's face when she talks about all that I have achieved.

What is your favourite dish?

Spaghetti Bolognese! It was the first thing I ever learnt how to cook.

I ate it every day, three times a day when I was a young bachelor because it was so easy to cook.

What tips would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?

Keep pushing until you achieve your dreams. And learn as much as you can about the industry you are getting into so you are the go-to guy.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made as an entrepreneur?

When we started Sumting Fresh, we had a small food stall on the side of the road.

We were selling amazing food, but it was to the wrong market.

It took us two years to understand that we needed to look for another market.


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