What started as a hobby making classic South African sausages and snacks for himself and friends has evolved into a fully-fledged shop and business for expat Conrad Muller.
“I was working at Electrix and used to make biltong and sausages as a side-line for my friends and work colleagues,” he says. “Everybody started noticing I was doing sausages and it just took off.”
He opened The Biltong & Braai Shop at 8d Moana Avenue in Ōrewa last year with shop manager Semona Cornelesen and they make and sell a wide range of fresh and frozen meats, boerewors, biltong, spices and barbecue accessories.
“We sell anything to do with barbecue – steak, ribs, chicken, pork rashers – and spices and meat rubs,” he says. “We’re not just another South African shop.”
All the meat is bought in bulk from premium supplier Hellaby before being cut, spiced and processed by Conrad.
He makes five different wors, the traditional long South African sausage that is coiled into a round – the classic boerewors, kaas wors (cheese), garlic wors, cheese and jalapeno wors and sosatie wors (curry) – as well as three different biltong flavours, plus cabanossi and droewors.
Everything is made and prepared on the premises using traditional methods and premium ingredients.
The shop also has a number of shelves packed with a huge number of spices, salts, barbecue rubs and sauces, and a range of accessories, including biltong choppers, bottle carriers, aprons, tongs and charcoal. They are also starting to do online sales this month.
Conrad and Semona have faced several major challenges since first opening the shop last July, including several lockdowns and a fire in the roof space that forced them to close their doors from October until the end of January.
“But we’re still going – we’ve got a lot of loyal customers,” Semona says. Conrad agrees.
“With hard work, hopefully we’ll get there. It’s like this,” he says, pointing to a framed picture above the counter that reads ‘Have big dreams and you will grow into them’.