Ghana’s local bread manufacturer A1 has expanded its operations to the United States. The expansion to the U.S. market is grounded on a special partnership arrangement with a major American bread company to ensure scale and penetration of the U.S. market at a faster rate.
This initiative is part of Select USA, an American government program designed to help foreign products penetrate the U.S. market, a statement by Ghana’s Embassy in the U.S. said.
Last year, Ghana’s Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, toured the $3 million production site as well as retailers currently testing the A1 cake bread market in the tri-state area, the statement added.
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A1 is led by Ghanaian entrepreneur Godfried Obeng Boateng. He started the business from Kumasi in Ghana’s Ashanti Region. His initial sales point was at the Kejetia market and its surroundings. He has since expanded his business to the capital, Accra, and cities such as Kasoa and Cape Coast.
Boateng’s journey has not been rosy. He recalls a period the company had to shut down for three weeks because he was thrown out of the garage where he had started the company.
“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,” Pulse Ghana quoted him as saying.
The rise of A1 Bread in Ghana has an interesting twist. It shot to fame after celebrated Ghanaian actor John Dumelo in 2017 trolled Boateng, a graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, on social media for selling bread in traffic.
“Just saw a knust grad hawking in traffic.. what went wrong?,” Dumelo posted on his Instagram page. This prompted a backlash, with many bashing him for criticizing Boateng’s hustle.
In November of 2018, it was reported in the Ghanaian media that A1 was completing negotiations with some Chinese investors to sell the company. The Chinese investors were reportedly offering a whopping $5 million for the company.
It is unclear if the company was sold to the Chinese investors but what Face2Face Africa can confirm is that Boateng has partnered with renowned Ghanaian sound engineer Da Hammer.
Hammer is known for grooming some of the best Ghanaian Hip Hop or Hiplife artists, including Obrafour, Tinny, Kwaw Kese, Sarkodie, Ayigbe Edem, and others. As a producer, he is credited as one of the pioneers and key figures in the popularization of Hiplife or Hip Hop made in Ghana.
A1 Bread currently has over 200 staff strength and a dozen of retailers across mainly southern Ghana. In a 2018 interview, Boateng revealed that he sells over 60,000 loaves of bread in a day.