Lardiere has recently moved its operations out of Germishuizen own kitchen, veranda and garage to a fully kitted out factory kitchen in Willow Park Manor in Pretoria. In the new space she plans on ramping further and ramping up her offering that focuses on natural, healthy and environmentally friendly foods. It’s a mission that comes complete with a nutritionist, no use of preservatives, and a dedication to 100% biodegradable packaging that strictly follows international label laws – going so far that each treat coming with its own nutritional chart and ingredient list in five different languages.
“Half the people may not follow the law but it’s important if you can measure what you are doing according to a world standard,” Germishuizen states matter-of-factly. “The people traveling to our country are well informed. When they pick a product up they know what’s inside it and they know what they want to eat. But more importantly, they want that information and I am going to give it to them.”
Her other main mission, she insists, is to help take the burden off busy chefs.
“They are slogging everyday from breakfast to tea time to lunch to tea time to dinner; because that’s all they do - in season - six or seven days a week. I’m just assisting them by completing that experience in the room.”
And she would know. In her 26 years of being a chef herself who has tried following the regular paths of having a restaurant and catering businesses. She then tried her hand at selling treats online but it was a little bit ahead of its time and didn’t quite gain the traction that she wanted.
“It did well, but it didn’t wow me and I’m a bit impatient. I wanted to be in someone’s face everyday. I wanted them to enjoy flavours everyday.”
It would be that box in the pristine lodge room and a conversation with Chef David Higgs who believed in her product enough to ask her to try her hand at making treats for The Saxon. From that moment she dedicated herself to focusing on small batch luxury artisanal foods, a practice she still follows today, but she jokes that there are just a lot more small batches.