Yumi Biltong Team

The Yumi Biltong Story

Nov 25, 2020

Yumi Biltong was born out of a passion for delivering good tasting quality food.

It all started online at the end of 2019 and has since evolved to opening our first kiosk at Morningside Shopping Centre. But that is only the beginning, we have such a bigger story to share.

Yumi Biltong all started with my mother, who for many years has owned and managed a successful biltong store in Cape Town near Burgundy Estate. Not only has my mom developed a strong passion for business selling the best quality biltong, but I have also witnessed her passion develop for all her customers over the years which truly inspired me to create and start my own journey.

It all started 20 years ago when I began my career in the retail industry.

This allowed me to develop my own sturdy set of skills and customer driven knowledge that aligned with my own mother’s passion. Many years later, the experience I have gained has helped me reconnect to my passion and love for food. 

Two years ago, while I was still living in Cape Town, I started having health issues and after seeing numerous Doctors and taking a whole long list of prescribed antibiotics, nothing seemed to work. Until one day, after watching a documentary on vegan food (Netflix of course), I changed my eating habits by following a raw vegan diet and within a short space of time, experienced a huge positive effect on my body which started healing itself almost immediately. Since then, I have realized that adding this healthier diet to my lifestyle has made a huge impact on the positivity I feel from day to day.

So, after binging on YouTube videos teaching vegan meat replacement recipes, I thought surely Vegan Biltong can also be made? After extensive tests on various recipes, Yumi Vegan Biltong was created and added to our online shop which was fortunately ready the moment our online business went live.

As for my partner in crime, Dolph brought all the things sweet to Yumi. As a young boy he used to make his own fudge and cocoa delight bars and sell them at school, which he did throughout his whole school career. He will surely always be remembered as the “guy with the best fudge”. 

Many years have passed since those school days and Dolph now works as an engineer.

However, every year on his birthday, he creates fudge and cocoa delight bars for his colleagues using the exact same recipes that he perfected in school. Only thing different now is the audience where all the enquiries started flowing in from. Creating a sideline business seemed like the right thing to do.

So Dolph and I starting Yumi together as an online store. During the Covid-19 pandemic, there was such a huge demand for our range of wonderful biltong products, vegan biltong and treats that the next logical step was to open our very first kiosk. It was only by chance that we identified the location we would build our very first kiosk on and that all transpired on one visit to Morningside Shopping Centre on what seemed to be a typical Sunday afternoon.

So from an early childhood baking passion to a little biltong store in Capetown, Dolph and I believe my Mother had a good Biltong product and by bringing it to Gauteng, it would give people a chance to experience the taste the good old Cape has to offer. By adding a vegan element to it, a healthier alternative to our product range is no doubt to proving will be a winning formula. 

We at Yumi will always provide the best quality product and friendliest service to all our customers so pop in and try our range of delicious products. It must be said that not everything has been smooth sailing from the start, but we are humbled by how Morningside and its customers have welcomed us to the family so we thank you and look forward to serving you. 

Heinrich Thiel