Offering personal customer care and top quality specialised meats, Karoo Kitchen Deli & Butchery is driven by passion for their food business and the community.
In a world where people contact has become largely electronic, a business offering personal service is akin to finding a gem – in this case a gem that has grown from a small butchery to a thriving food business. While diversifying their brand, Gary and Michelle van den Berg’s passion for food and commitment to personal service has remained their top priority. Speaking from their uMhlanga Rocks Drive store – which is also their current headquarters and distribution centre – Michelle recalls: “Gary’s dream was to own a restaurant. Being in the meat industry combining both his dream and his passion for meat resulted in the creation of Karoo Kitchen Deli & Butchery.”
The company enjoys a low staff turnover. One of the founder staff members, Rodney Pillay, is now an operating partner. Priscilla Khumalo started as a retail packer four years ago and is now block-woman and manageress at the Ballito store. Both management and staff share the principles of customer care. Giving back to the community is also part of the enduring ethos of management, generated through sponsorships and charities.
While specialised products such as cured charcuterie, guinea fowl and ostrich offers some exciting options, core favourites remain Karoo lamb (of course!) wagyu beef, and one of the biggest sellers, their famous biltong, made in-house with secret spices. The butchers, like in the good old days, are always at hand to offer advice and expertly cut and prepare clients’ orders.
The deli offers a culinary treasure trove of top quality fare made by local artisanal food entrepreneurs – olives, olive oil, condiments, pickles, breads and more. This allows the store to offer something unique, while at the same time supporting local businesses. In fact, Michelle goes so far as to say the deli is key to the success of their business.
Another big drawcard are their delicious take home time-savers available for busy families – and to Karoo’s standards, the menu changes daily. Also at the uMhlanga Rocks Drive store, enjoy the famous Karoo Brew Cappuccino and cooked breakfast … or a boerewors or steak roll. Mouth-watering!
Karoo Kitchen Deli & Butchery currently owns an express shop in Flanders Mall, Mount Edgecombe and in-store butcheries at Spar Ballito and Pick and Pay uMhlanga Village. They also distribute specialised products to stores where there is no butcher on site. Future stores are on the cards. Michelle: “We are extremely passionate about our brand and will continue to drive the personal touch in every aspect of a business where customers become family friends.”
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