The Biltong Man - creating a healthy British snack infused with South African soul
PUBLISHED: 18:34 13 January 2013 | UPDATED: 12:16 28 February 2013
It's a long way from KwaZulu Natal to Wolsingham, but a Frosterley couple have brought the tastes of South Africa across the seas to the North East dales, as Sue Campbell reports
Terri and Glen Crookes moved to the UK from South Africa 12 years ago. Glen was born there, and Terri was born in the UK, but from a very young age she was brought up in the country they call the Rainbow Nation.
And now the couple have launched their own company, The Biltong Man, from premises in Wolsingham in the heart of Weardale.
Biltong is a dried and cured meat which originated in South Africa and is eaten as a healthy snack. The couple hope biltong will become a new eating sensation across the UK.
Terri said: When we first arrived in the UK the family really missed good quality biltong. Its a very popular snack for all age groups in South Africa. We couldnt find anything similar here, so we decided to take the next step and bring some South African tradition to the UK market.
Glen, who was born in South Africa, and is currently a firefighter for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said the venture had been given huge support from the Love Food project. Love Food supports the production, use and appreciation of locally grown or reared food throughout Teesdale, Weardale, the Allen Valleys and Derwentside.
Partner in the project, South Durham Enterprise Agency, had provided guidance on funding, business planning and product testing.
Glen said: We pride ourselves on using the best cuts of British beef sourced locally. They not only share our passion for quality but it means few food miles too. And in order to retain the authentic taste of our Biltong we import the spices from our homeland.
Glen and Terri share the responsibilities of the businesses from production to sales and marketing. Helping out are the couples two daughters, 18-yearold Roxanne Kiai and Atlanta Skye, 16.
Glen said: My forbears left England in 1860 for the shores of Africa. Now many generations later we see The Biltong Man as the return of our family to the UK by producing a healthy British snack infused with South African soul.