In Business, Food, Photo Blog

Zooming in on : We Are Food

Anyone else love food as much as me??

Last year I got asked to be apart of a Christmas Lunch inspiration photoshoot and I just had to be involved.  I got to work with We Are Food, Adore weddings and The Umhlanga Magazine and what a fun morning we had together! 

I am in love with the We Are Food meals that I had to find out more about this incredible business and the ladies behind it. 

So Jane, tell me about yourself and your family?    

We really are your typical Durban family, born and bred on the beaches of Umhlanga, surrounded by friends and family and always involved in our community.  Our family has always been extremely passionate about all things food, enjoying any opportunity to entertain friends and cook for a crowd!  Most weekends you’ll find the three of us spending even more time together, eating out, socializing and keeping fairly active (does walking to the local coffee van count??) Even our morning gym sessions are usually rewarded with a healthy smoothie to ease the pain!

How did We Are Food come about?

I began the business back in 2013, whilst studying a Diploma in Culinary Arts through Christina Martin/IHS.  Whilst gaining experience during my studies I was approached by a family member to help her out while she struggled to balance a new job, personal life and hours of cooking food to feed her 7 strong family!  So from there it really just grew organically, with friends-of-friends-of-friends phoning me up to help them too!  It seems there was a general trend of men and women in need of a convenient, but still healthy and wholesome, answer to their meal time needs.

One thing led to another, and before we knew it my mom and I had signed a lease and moved to a mini central-kitchen in the bustling area of North Coast Road, with 3 staff members and 7 chest freezers!  The growth continued and before we knew it we were in a bigger space, with a walk in freezer, 9 staff members and Amy, my sister, moved home from Perth, Australia and her great job in Commercial Property Management, to join the family business.  Just in time too, as the following year saw some major growth in sales, expansion and staffing, making her role as an admin and organizational queen even more necessary!

What is the best thing about your job?

I  feel so fortunate to be able to marry my passion of food with a full time job.  But it also runs deeper than that.  Our entire family has always had a heart towards community upliftment, and very early on we realized we could use this small, budding business as an opportunity to do good!  Not only by training and enabling our staff to reach their full potential, but by offering upliftment in the community around us!

What inspires you?

I am inspired daily by global food trends and dietary issues in society.  Even though we might not be able to follow every single trend (being a little limited with the fact that our products are frozen), I still love the challenge of trying to answer a social/health issue with a convenient product out of your freezer!  In terms of business, as other entrepreneurs would know, there are so many highs and lows we face daily in trying to build a business we believe in, that is viable, honest and well run.  In this regard I find my biggest motivation are my team.  To know that each success or inch of growth means a better future and career opportunity for them.

What is your most popular meal on your menu?

We have a monthly race between our top three sellers: Thai Fishcakes, Butter Chicken Curry, Banting Beef Lasagne.  They are all so delicious so I am not surprised they rank in the top!

Now for the most important question… Where can we buy your delicious meals?

You can order online directly from us at www.wearefood.co.za, we offer free delivery services so check the delivery page.  We are also available in 13 Spars throughout Durban, as well as in our first official We are Food shop in the newly renovated Lifestyle Centre which opened last year November.

Whats a must have for anyone throwing a dinner party?

I ALWAYS recommend our Sausage and Herb Plait.  It has real wow-factor, while still being seriously delicious!  We pair it with a very complicated pepper sauce (one part Nando’s Pepper sauce to  one part cream, heat and serve….) and a green salad!  So simple!!

Other must haves include generous wine, something seriously decadent for dessert (a layered Eaton Mess of varying seasonal fruit is always so easy and delicious!) and a relaxed hostess.  This is an equation for a successful, enjoyable evening

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

On the weekends (when the weather is perfect) you might find me bobbing around North Beach attempting to surf!  My husband is an avid surfer (I don’t know if avid is the right word, obsessive… that’s better…) so it only makes sense that I drag myself out there every now and again to spend some quality time together.

Do you have any tips for someone wanting to take that leap and start their own business?

Start today – you don’t have to quit your day job, you don’t need a massive loan.  If you have an idea, start small in your garage, spare room or kitchen, work in your evenings and spare time, to get a feel for the demand of your idea in the real world.  Then begin to dive further in!  And don’t be scared to ask for mentorship or brainstorming!  Most who are already successful are so eager to help and guide, and those that aren’t yet successful would likely love to meet with you to throw ideas around!

 

Here are some photos of our shoot together… Warning : looking at these photos may result in hunger.

{Some of these meals are available online and others are Christmas lunch inspiration for the shoot.}

 

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1 Comment

  1. Mandy du Plessis
    1 year ago

    Stunning Melissa. These photos are beautiful!

    Reply

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