Plan Ouma Rusks
|Owner||RCL Foods (2013)|
|Tagline||Baked on the original farm|
Ouma (commonly referred to as Ouma's Rusks) is a South African rusk made from a traditional buttermilk recipe. It was first introduced in the rural town of Molteno, Eastern Cape, by Elizabeth Ann Greyvenstyn in 1939. In response to an offer by the town's pastor to help fund entrepreneurial efforts of the women in his congregation. The brand currently dominates the relatively-small local rusk market, and is manufactured in the same town it was first introduced.
In an effort to reduce the negative impact of the Great Depression, the town's pastor offered each female member of his congregation money to start local businesses and increase their family income. They each received a half-crown, which is equivalent to two shillings and sixpence (roughly worth £30 or R520 in 2016).
They were first sold under the brand name "Outspan Rusks" but was changed soon after to 'Ouma' (Afrikaans for grandmother). Elizabeth's grandson, Leon Greyvensteyn, was involved in the establishment and management of the company went on to found the Simba Chip company in 1956.
In 1941 the newly created governmental Industrial development Corporation (South Africa) gave its first start-up loan to Ouma Rusks for £1,500. Ouma became part of Fedfood in the 1970s, and since 1992 has been owned by Foodcorp (South Africa). As of 2012 Foodcorp still maintains an Ouma Rusks factory in the town of Molteno employing 250 people.
Though based in South Africa, Ouma Rusks are consumed internationally due to the diaspora.
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