We Are Food: Joburgers can now get KZN's fave home-cooked frozen meals
From butter chicken to Banting beef lasagne, this Parkhurst store offers no shortage of delicious options for those who are too time-pressed to cook
In 2013, mother-and-daughter duo Didee and Jane Weare started We Are Food, selling frozen home-cooked meals from their garage in Umhlanga Rocks. As demand for their convenient but healthy food grew, the Weares’ modest home industry quickly outgrew their home chest freezers.
Today, Jane and her sister Amy are partners, with Didee heavily involved in retail, training and customer relations. They operate out of an industrial kitchen in Durban, with a home delivery service and several stores around KwaZulu-Natal.
We spoke to Jane about their first Jozi store on Parkhurst’s 4th Avenue.
How did you decide on Parkhurst as your location?
We’ve partnered with old friends – siblings Marc Burnton and Leigh Louw – who live in the area. We believe strongly in partnering with likeminded individuals who have a passion for the business we have built, a love for good food and an even greater desire for outstanding customer service. We want owner-run stores, as we truly believe this is the answer to giving hands-on personalised service that matches our own standards.
Tell us more about the trend of people wanting “real” home-cooked food that’s convenient to prepare?
Our customers vary from single, young professionals, to busy parents, retirees and even great cooks looking for a little relief from the kitchen! Our customers either can’t cook, or they’re lacking in time, knowledge or the right equipment.
The time-starved bracket is growing each year, with time pressure at work, traffic jams on the way home, and individuals choosing to prioritise more “me time”.
How do you see yourselves compared to companies like uCook?
Any company offering a convenient cooking solution is a competitor, but it all comes down to the finer details, such as the time the customer has available, their skill in the kitchen, and their desire to get their hands dirty.
Meal box companies offer a great product, but for a lot of people this is still time consuming. We see competition as a welcome motivator – it keeps us on our toes, and helps us to grow the market for high-quality, convenience food.
What are your most popular meals?
Every month our butter chicken, melanzane bake and Thai fishcakes vie for the top spot, closely followed by our Banting beef lasagne and Bar One chocolate mousse.
Tell us more about your “specialty” ranges, such as baby food and meals for entertaining guests?
We love our entertaining range, as we believe that food is such a great bringer of happiness and joy. One of our core values in the business is community, so offering a range of meals to feed your family and friends while ensuring you don’t end the evening with a sink full of dirty pots to scrub, is just the best thought! If we can help people spend a little more quality time together over a nutritious meal, we’re one step closer to a happy planet.
This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za