The Daily Herald writes that Rachel M. Thijssen was awarded the second annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Saba Business Association (SBA) on Tuesday outside her shop at Breadline Plaza in Windwardside. “We are proud to give this award to Rachel, since we believe she showed real entrepreneurial spirit, took a chance and committed to hard work and quality,” said SBA President Wolfgang Tooten. “The bakery increases the diversity in the market, created new jobs and caters to the need of the consumer.
With her little outside location, she attracts a colourful crowd and inspires people to meet and enjoy Saba at its fullest. Her products are of an outstanding quality and delicious. She serves further as a training facility to encourage young people to follow in her footsteps.”
Dutch national Thijssen and her husband Rodney Swanepoel moved to Saba several years ago from South Africa. She first worked as a dive instructor while pursuing her passion for baking on the side. When Breadline Plaza was opened by local entrepreneur Stanley Peterson in 2013, Thijssen joined with her baker Marlies Scherrenberg and opened Bizzy B Bakery and literally became the cornerstone of the plaza
“Of course, we were already baking for a while, so I knew I already had some customers,” she said. “It was quite a gamble to put this little store-front up to serve breakfast and lunch, but it’s going good. We always plan to improve our products and to increase out output and innovate.” “I am very happy. It’s nice that (SBA) thought of me,” Thijssen said about the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. “I couldn’t have done it without my staff and baker. We all worked very hard and they all helped me along with my husband. I also have to thank Stan Peterson for this lovely location,” Thijssen said.
SBA congratulated her and said they are looking forward to recognizing other entrepreneurs in the years to come. “We congratulate Rachel and her team for a job well done and that she serves as a role model the SBA wants to see promoted for future entrepreneurs on our small and beautiful island.
Her Dutch baker Marlies is excellent and creates beautiful and mouth-watering cakes and pastries. Supported by her husband, who also became an entrepreneur and drives one of Saba’s cleanest and reliable taxis, Rachel made her dream come true due to determination, risk-taking, excellent planning and hard work,” said Tooten.