Fruity venture pays off for mom, daughter

2018-03-29 06:00
Raising a glass to the first anniversary of Air-Dried Veg & Fruit were Liesl Joubert, Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson, Geni Pieterse and Koos Fourie.     Photo:SUPPLIED

Raising a glass to the first anniversary of Air-Dried Veg & Fruit were Liesl Joubert, Kouga Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson, Geni Pieterse and Koos Fourie. Photo:SUPPLIED

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A Jeffreys Bay mother and daughter are adding new flavours to the South African food scene.

Geni Pieterse and her daughter, Liesl Joubert, this month celebrated the opening of their own small factory, Air-Dried Veg & Fruit, a year ago.

The business produces, packages and distributes dried fruit and vegetables to outlets across South Africa. The products can be enjoyed as a snack or to add flavour to a variety of dishes.

“What makes our products special is that they cater for people who prefer natural products that are allergen free.

“Our products contain no added sugar, sulphur, oils or nuts, which make them the perfect snack for people who like living healthily or have food sensitivities,” said Liesl.

It was her own allergy to sulphur that set Liesl on a quest to cater for people with similar allergies.

“Dried fruit without added sulphur is very hard to come by even though it is a common allergy,” she said.

Geni ran a health store in Jeffreys Bay and often received requests for allergen-free dried fruit.

“There was a demand, but there simply weren’t any products available that appealed to my customers.”

Their respective experiences motivated mother and daughter to start producing allergen-free dried fruit from home almost three years ago.

The demand for their products grew so much that it became necessary to move to the bigger premises in March last year. From here they have continued growing their business, with the help of business consultant Koos Fourie.

“I would like to congratulate Geni and Liesl on this milestone anniversary,” said Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen.

“They already employ five local women, which means their success is touching far more lives than just their own. May their business continue to grow and add muscle to our local economy.”

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