Baking success one pie at a time

2014-08-15 00:00

JOHAN Kilian and Lukas Loots, partners who own a number Pie City stores in Pinetown and Richards Bay, are finalists for the 2014 Sanlam/Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

Kilian said in an interview yesterday that although he had always wanted to be in his own business, to the point of buying and selling second-hand cars while working at Transnet, in between shifts.

They currently own 14 stores and two factories after starting with four outlets and one factory in 2002.

Killian said it was challenging to take their retirement funds and invest it in a business that may or may not succeed.

The started building their pie empire with four outlets and one factory store in 2002.

Pie City has been in business for almost 20 years, and was nominated for five consecutive years as one of the top brands in the Ipsos Markinor/Sunday Times Top Brand Survey.

Kilian said aspiring entrepreneurs should consider going the franchise route, because consumers had become terribly brand conscious.

He cited as example his experience where a competitor pie shop had opened nearby and offered pies at half the price he was selling at, yet the business would fail as customers were loyal to the Pie City brand.

The South African franchise concept produces its own range of meat pies, fresh fruit juices and pizzas from scratch.

While employed by the parastatal, Kilian and Loots also owned five taverns and liquor stores in the Durban CBD area which they managed in between shifts.

They became involved with the Pie City brand after doing extensive industry research, and once they had compared Pie City to other local fast-food companies in the country they knew that the brand was the right franchise for them.

Johan said they were terrified of leaving the railways and a stable salary to become full-time entrepreneurs, as they realised only a very small number of individuals reach success as an entrepreneur in their own right.

He said the business’s recipe for success is based on hard work, a good relationship with his partner, enthusiasm, patience, people skills, determination and honesty, and most support from staff.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.