The company was founded in 2009 in Cape Town. Before that, I had a small delicatessen in Hermanus and made charcuterie as a hobby. We are now in our 15th year, and it certainly has been a roller coaster ride. We started just after the global financial crisis in 2008 and since then, we have been through load shedding, droughts, pandemics, listeria outbreaks and no doubt some more things to come. The journey has been wonderful and I have no regrets. Sure, I would do some things differently if I had my time again, but on balance it has been a lot of fun, a lot of learning and I have met some wonderful people along the way.
Some of the unique things about us are firstly that we develop relationships with farmers. We buy directly from them and there is a non-verbal or contractual partnership where we support each other. The meat industry is full of challenges, as is farming, and we and our suppliers have to be flexible and collaborate. I don't operate in an environment where I can just buy the cuts I need, we buy the whole carcass and have to use everything. We are also a small team and of the 3 staff I started with in 2009 - 2 are still working for me and one retired. Our business is like a family, and we all support each other through the good times and the bad.
We make very traditional cured products, following recipes and techniques that are centuries old, and our focus is on doing as little as possible to the meat. The main ingredient after the meat is time. We make some unusual products too, that most South Africans are not familiar with, such as guanciale, nduja and mortadella but these are becoming more popular each year. Most of our products are made by hand and are quite labour-intensive. There are no shortcuts to making quality products and in today's world where profit is the most important measure, we prefer to focus on making products that we can be proud of.
Our customer base is varied, from sophisticated travellers at markets to pizza restaurants and select delis and retailers. We sell our products at the Oranjezicht Market as well as online and wholesale. We supply Bacon on Brie with all their bacon, hams and sauces and were instrumental in setting up that business.
On the global stage, our products can hold their own. I have had feedback from international tourists and have travelled myself to Italy and Spain several times and feel quietly confident that we are following those traditions faithfully. We only supply our product inside South Africa currently.
Whilst we keep to the traditional ways, we do focus on innovation too, and I am busy with a project looking at using bacteria to cure meat instead of adding nitrites. There is a lot of confusion currently in the market around "no added nitrate" products which are very misleading as these products use vegetable nitrates to achieve the curing. My project will be groundbreaking on the world stage and will be the first to cure meats without adding any nitrates or nitrites from any source. I have been trialling this with a large producer in the UK. I also teach people to cure their own meats and run courses across South Africa. During covid, I created an online course which is available here https://bit.ly/3gtRQyW and is available worldwide.
Contact person: Richard Bosman
Contact Number: +27 (0)832773494