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Culture Club Cheese Culture Club Cheese

Entrepreneurs are cooking up a storm

May 24, 2017

Shopping for healthy, ethically produced, great quality food has never been easier in central Cape Town. If you’re after a special cut of meat, trying a new cheese or treating yourself to a delicious pastry, you’re also supporting small businesses where people are passionate about their products.

Take the spice route

Atlas Trading Store, at the top of Wale Street, specialises in spices that transform dishes from ordinary to mouth-watering. The family-owned company was established in 1946 and has a loyal following. “We import certain spices then grind them for freshness and purity. We blend spices as well. We’ve got a special spice called Leaf Masala, which contains a mixture of 12 different spices. It can be used with ginger, garlic, and tomato, for beef, chicken and also vegetables. Leaf Masala comes in chilli and mild flavours. For those who want it hot, they take the ‘Mother in Law’ flavour, for mild they should take ‘Father in Law’. It’s the exact same mixture. If you feel it’s too hot, you must squeeze a little bit of lemon in.” “This recipe comes from our grandparents. There are different recipes out there but ours is unique; it’s very good. Our products are not too pricey, they are very reasonable. We also try to cater for all kinds of people. We have people from all over Africa who come in and buy our spices.” Wahab Ahmed, business owner 104 Wale Streetwww.atlastradingcompany.co.za

Meet the meat merchants

Frankie Fenner Meat Market prides itself on its ethical approach to meat. The main store is in Main Road, Woodstock, but there’s one in the central city too. “We work with the suppliers. They let us know what they have for us, the number of cows they have and we work according to what’s being offered. Our meat is free range, grass-fed and organically sourced. We visit the farmers about three to four times a year.” “We know exactly where everything is coming from, so we can trace back every single cut of meat. We make people aware of what it is that they are eating, As a result, people are willing to pay a higher price for it, knowing that they are getting better quality.” Justin Voster, manager 81 Church Streetwww.ffmm.co.za

European style and taste

Rosa’s Bakery is a Cape Town institution that offers oven-fresh products, good service, and a comfortable sit-down area. The bakery has 18 staff members and under it is a second business called Eurohaus, which employs about 45 people. About 99% of Rosa’s products are baked in-house. “We bake products from Germany, France, Italy, Portuguese and Europe. We specialise in pastries, bread, and rolls. We make delicious croissants (chocolate and vanilla Italian cream). Our bread is 100% rye, mixed with four different seeds (sunflower, oats, pumpkin and lean). We soak it for 24 hours giving a unique taste. We supply our baked goods to 14 hotels, guest houses, and 22 coffee shops. The bakery operates for 22 hours every day of the week.” Rainer Lauts, business owner 70 Shortmarket Streetwww.rosasbakery-capetown.jimdo.com

Please say cheese

Culture Club Cheese is Cape Town’s first artisan cheese maker, selling cheeses of every kind, bread, wine, beer, deluxe coffee, charcuterie, condiments and lots of store cupboard essentials. “We are the only specialist cheese shop in town and certainly the one with the largest selection of cheese, both local and international, in Africa. We source 80% of our cheese locally and spent a year before starting up travelling the country to source truly artisan handmade cheese that has been made well. (Business partner) Luke Williams was a cheese maker and monger (selle r of cheese) and affineur (carer of cheese!) in England for a decade before we started in South Africa. We specialise in cheese that is free from preservatives and additives, made from antibiotic- and hormonefree milk from grass-fed, happy animals. We also ferment all sorts of other things, from kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and Kombucha to our own invention – Gut Shots – lacto-fermented probiotic shots to improve the strength of your gut. We also have a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week and tapas dinners from Thursday to Saturday. Our evenings are known for cheese platters and fondues.” Jessica Merton, business owner 215 Bree Streetwww.cultureclubcheese.co.za

Who can resist chocolate?

Honest Chocolate is a small artisanal chocolate company situated in the city centre and the Woodstock Exchange. Their chocolates are handcrafted using organically produced ingredients to make a pure chocolate starting with raw cacao. “We make pure, simple chocolate, made up of raw, organic cacao and a bit of agave, bringing out floral notes of jasmine from the single-origin Arriba Nacional cacao bean from Ecuador. Each bar is moulded and wrapped by hand. We believe in keeping things handcrafted using old school methods, quality organically produced ingredients and making a pure chocolate that has a deliciously distinct feel and taste. Our chocolate has been received extremely well by the public and we provide a product for people with food allergies or intolerances. Our chocolate is free from dairy, gluten, and refined sugar, so it appeals to those who want to live a healthy lifestyle, but also like a guilt-free treat every now and then. “Our cacao beans are sourced from ethical farms in Ecuador and Tanzania that produce the highest quality organically grown cacao beans. Our chocolate is made by hand using old school methods in a small production kitchen in Woodstock. We receive 100% cacao liquor straight from the farms, which we melt down with a little cacao butter and agave nectar (the sweetener) and hand temper to create our chocolate. So it’s called Honest because everything we do is honest. From the source of the cacao to the actual production, we keep things small batch and authentic. Our most popular product would be our Original bonbons. They’re the first things we ever made and experimented with and they are still a firm favourite and often sell out at events and markets.” Gabriel Akal, head of marketing and media 64A Wale Streetwww.honestchocolate.co.za

Bringing home the bacon

Bacon on Bree is Cape Town’s ‘baconporium’ founded by Richard Bosman and Justine Seymour. The place has been running since 2015 and has a franchise called Bacon Ville in the northern suburbs. Located in trendy Bree Street, the eatery specialises in breakfast and sandwiches. The most popular meals include The Breakfast Club and a sandwich named after Suits actor, Harvey Spector. “We focus on bacon done by Richard Bosman and other products such as pork steaks, prosciutto, and cured meat. Richard Bosman is a charcuterie guy, he does different kinds of meat like bacon, salami, and prosciutto. We do mainly breakfast and sandwiches built using bacon. All of the products we use are pasteurised which basically means that the pigs live on the farms as naturally as they possibly can, they do not get kept in pens, and are not fed scraps from the farm and grains. Our pigs graze on massive farms with grass, they live natural happy lives and are slaughtered in a very humane way. Once slaughtered they are well processed, we do not put anything in the meat, we don’t pump it with salt water and brine. It’s strictly no preservatives from farm to table. We have received a good response from people since we started in 2015, they love it! People that come to the shop, both local and international, have rated our bacon the best they’ve ever had and a lot different to bacon they buy from the shops. The meat quality itself is very different, you can taste it straight away. The bacon is done differently. “When I say it’s cured, it gets soaked in water and hung for a certain amount of time before it is sliced, thus giving it a cured taste. Some of it is smoked and some unsmoked. There are herbs that go on to it as well so it’s not just salt. There are different elements that go into the meat; we’re not just slicing the pork.” Cassandra Todd, manager 217 Bree Streetwww.bacononbree.com

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 09:42
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CityLife is the newspaper for people who live, work and play in the Cape Town central city area – and our many visitors. It’s a blend of news and information about people and places in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

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