Welcome to Meannan Foods, where we've been serving nutritious and convenient meals since our establishment in September 2006 (although our journey began in 2005). I am Charity Annan, the proud founder and CEO of Meannan Foods. Our mission has always been clear; to make life easier for mothers who want to provide their families with wholesome food while still having precious time to spend together.
Our humble beginnings featured just four products. Today, thanks to both customer recommendations and our own creative spirit, we boast a range of 32 products that we're incredibly proud of. From a one-person operation, with me at the helm, we've grown into a team of 33 dedicated employees. Our factory is situated in Mataheko, near Afienya, within the Ningo/Prampram district.
As we all know, the arrival of COVID-19 caught the world off guard. While our sales remained relatively stable, we faced challenges sourcing raw materials and handling logistics due to restrictions on movement. Our export market came to a standstill, significantly impacting our operations. It forced us to re-evaluate our supply chain, prompting us to source raw and packaging materials right here in Ghana.
The pandemic has highlighted the immense potential within the Ghanaian food production industry. People are increasingly seeking naturally processed food, and we're determined to meet this growing demand. Thankfully, we didn't have to lay off any of our hardworking employees. Instead, we provided accommodation for those who traveled long distances, allowing them to stay on-site during the week and return home on weekends. We also made necessary adjustments to salaries while explaining the situation transparently to our team.
Our lifeline during those challenging times, which enabled us to retain our employees and pull through the pandemic came in the form of the COVID-19 Response Grant by the Ghana Enterprises Agency. I learned about it through one of our WhatsApp groups, specifically designed for small businesses. After making a call, I received clear instructions on how to apply. We submitted our proposal online, and thankfully, we were selected as deserving recipients.
In November 2021, we were awarded GHS 105,000 equivalent to $17,000. This generous grant allowed us to invest in a powder packing machine, significantly accelerating our production by over 100%. Additionally, we acquired a sealing machine, streamlining our packaging process. These investments have enabled us to meet customer demands more efficiently than ever before.
We are immensely grateful for the support provided by the COVID response program initiated by the Ghana Enterprises Agency, with the backing of the World Bank. Like Oliver Twist, we find ourselves wanting more support to continue our growth trajectory. We also extend our heartfelt appreciation to the President of Ghana for his unwavering support for small and medium-sized businesses like ours.
At Meannan Foods, we remain committed to our mission of delivering nutritious and convenient meals while contributing to the growth of Ghana's food production industry. We are excited about the future and look forward to serving our loyal customers even better. Thank you for your support and trust in us.