In times like these, we really learn what it means to be a community! In this edition, we’re showing our local businesses some love and support.
St John’s D.S.G
St John’s D.S.G. is aptly described by its pupils as a “small school with a big heart”. It is a medium-sized, independent girls’ school situated in Pietermaritzburg. From Grade RR to Grade 12, the school offers a liberal education on the foundation of a strong Christian ethos, providing a caring and value-based educational environment for boarders and day scholars. Given the school’s location, St John’s D.S.G is able to attract the lovely Midlands families, who are down-to-earth, kind and caring. Students at the school also benefit by getting involved as much as possible with local projects and charities – there are many people doing great things in and around Pietermaritzburg, and the girls are able to learn so much from them! During the lockdown, the teachers have been missing their pupils’ happy, smiling faces! Those at St John’s D.S.G consider it not just a school, but a family in which each member is loved, supported and valued.
Pick ’n Pay Athlone Circle
Pick ’n Pay Athlone Circle, Pietermaritzburg is the KZN’s latest retail addition. This supermarket is ideally located just off the N3, which allows convenient access for its Midlands customers. This is a family-owned and run business, and with over 30 years of experience in retail, Conrad, Cecile and their team took the decision to establish a high-end customer experience. This store has an extensive product range that grows daily, and they work hard to ensure that their customers who are diabetic, vegan and/or have intolerances such as gluten and dairy are still able to enjoy a wide selection of items. “Home Shopping” is another core part of the supermarket’s business, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, and allows customers to enjoy all that the store has to offer without ever having to leave your home. Customers can also make use of the collection service which allows you to order in the morning and collect later in the day from a designated pickup spot in the parking lot.
033 342 6196
Located on Power Lane in Howick, this branch of CrossFit is as dedicated to fitness as could be! Owner and coach Maritsa (otherwise known as Super M) is passionate about what she does. CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All of the workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. No matter your age or level of fitness, anyone can join CrossFit. They even have workouts for kids and teens! Maritsa loves being a local business owner in the Midlands. “The people are so laid back and positive and it is extremely infectious. You find yourself smiling when you mention that you have a business in the Midlands because you know that it is a privilege to find yourself in such a majestic place where people treat you with love, care and respect,” she says. During the lockdown, CrossFit Howick has still been keeping people fit with regular Zoom classes. There’s no slacking off here!
Brokersure Insurance Group
Lara Dillon is an accredited and independent short-term insurance intermediary (a fancy word for broker) and acts within her scope as a mandated representative of the Pietermaritzburg Branch of the Brokersure Insurance Group. She offers clients a variety of different products from various insurance companies and is not limited to selling one insurance company’s products. With 12 years of experience in the insurance industry, Lara is able to offer comprehensive advice in commercial and personal lines, be it your business or domestic needs, agriculture, travel or hospitality. Lara is also an accredited broker specialising in medical aid gap cover through Ambledown Financial Services. “Local supports local, especially in Nottingham Road where I am privileged enough to live. I enjoy the personal relationships I develop with my clients who become more than clients. They become friends – that’s important to me,” Lara says.
078 460 7441
Pura Vida produces natural skincare and body products that are locally handmade in Hilton. They create cruelty-free and environmentally friendly products that work with your skin to balance its natural processes. “Pura Vida” is a Costa Rican greeting which means “pure life”, and the company tries to embody these values in all of their products. The owner, Di, loves being a local business owner in the Midlands because of its sense of community, the people and the relaxed lifestyle. “The beautiful natural surroundings and tranquility resonate with Pura Vida’s ethos and values of a natural and holistic way of life,” she says. During the lockdown, Di has loved having her family home and spending time cooking healthy meals, doing yoga and reconnecting. She’s excited to be back in business now!
082 257 3421
La Petite France
The lush pastures of Preston Farm, situated outside of Howick in the Karkloof, are home to La Petite France, a family-run dairy and cheesery that values sustainability and healthy living. The grain-free diet of their cows allows them to produce milk of superior quality that has remarkable extra health benefits. This includes higher levels of immune-boosting CLA and omega-3 heart healthy fats. The sweet taste of the milk comes through in their delicious range of natural, handmade products which contain no additives whatsoever. By only using milk and cultures, they keep things simple and allow nature to go to work. La Petite France dairy products are farm made, from their pastures to your plate!
033 940 0985
Preston Farm, 9 Karkloof Road, Howick
Trellidor Maritzburg is one of the oldest franchises in the Trellidor network. It has been in operation for more than 30 years, protecting homes and businesses in the area with the full range of Trellidor products, from their familiar trellis-style sliding gates to beautiful, lifestyle-friendly designs like louvre shutters. Adrian Beaumont took over the business in November 2018 and it continues to grow from strength to strength. “We enjoy being part of this type of community and it is rewarding to be able to find ways to keep people safe at home and work without imposing on the lifestyle they are here for,” says Adrian. During the lockdown, people were able to make use of their virtual consultations by video or phone call whilst remaining in the comfort of their home. Trellidor is also always available to attend to emergencies within the Pietermaritzburg area. “People feel safe with Trellidor products on their doors and windows. That is why I invested in this franchise and we look forward to once again offering a complete service to our community.”
033 345 4214
Started in 2006, Butlin Hearing is a family business run by Claire Butlin-Buys and her brother, Mark Butlin. Butlin Hearing offers specialist hearing care and advice, including free hearing screening tests, hearing aid fittings, repair and services, diagnostic testing, and a free hearing aids cleaning service daily. Claire is, in fact, an agent for the top four international hearing aid brands, being Siemens/Signia, Phonak, Oticon and Widex. “Having lived in Howick my whole life, there is a wonderful sense of community and support, especially felt during these tough times during the lockdown. We have had some patients for nearly 15 years, and they have become part of the Butlin hearing family,” she says. The family has missed their big get-togethers! Butlin Hearing practise from their two main branches, being St John’s Lifestyle Centre, which is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
033 330 3966
Shop 7, St John’s Lifestyle Centre, Karkloof Road, Howick
Groundcover Leather Company
Groundcover Leather Company was founded in 1990 by Justin and Amanda McCarthy and makes original, finely handcrafted leather footwear and accessories. The family business is located on a farm in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands of South Africa and is the expression of a lifelong passion for leatherwork and a search for a meaningful livelihood. Family comes first with this local business, and all of their products are made by the Groundcover family. People can come into the factory and watch them work, which allows the staff to share with customers what they are doing and how they are doing it. “I would like people to know that Groundcover isn’t a stand-alone entity, it is a group of people who, together, make up the business of Groundcover,” says Amanda. What does the Groundcover family love about being a local business in the Midlands? “It gives us the lifestyle we wanted, but allows us to earn an honest income at the same time. We are part of a strong rural community where neighbours look out for one another,” explains Amanda.
082 562 0874
Bundu NetworX is a South African internet service provider based in KwaZulu-Natal, supplying internet not only to the coastal areas, but to outlying and hard to reach parts of the province as well. The business was established in 2005 in the Midlands with the purpose of providing clients in the “bundus” with access to the very best wireless internet without the need of a landline, allowing people to live where they love and be connected. After the acquisition of an internet service provider based in Amanzimtoti in 2018, Bundu NetworX can proudly say that they have supplied internet from sea level to the top of Sani Pass and a lot of areas in between. This indicates their passion and commitment to expanding the network to inaccessible areas and providing internet to people who would otherwise have no access at all. This year Bundu NetworX also expanded their service to offering fibre in KZN urban areas. When asked what she loves most about being a local business in the Midlands, Client Relations and new Business Manager Dee During answered, “The obvious beauty of living and working in the Midlands aside, we are a close-knit community. The majority of our customers are incredibly supportive and understanding of the challenges we face getting Wi-Fi to our community.”
087 222 9500
The Ruby Orchard
The Ruby Orchard is a natural, homely and refreshing store nestled in the centre of Howick at Yard 41. The store houses a range of décor, furniture, clothing and gifts made locally and sourced internationally. The Ruby Orchard strives to excite and inspire shoppers with stunning interior ranges and by offering bespoke made-to-order mirrors, picture frames and refurbished furniture you won’t find anywhere else! “The Midlands has an amazing community and network of creative and small businesses. I never feel like I’m in this by myself, because we are all here to make the Midlands a place people and visitors want to come back to over and over again,” says the owner, Hannah. She has been missing human interaction and catching up with friends while the lockdown has been in place and is excited to be able to open again!
033 330 2673
When putting together her Freerange clothing and décor items, owner and designer Caroline Carlisle was inspired by the Midlands. “‘Wholesome’ and ‘real’ are the words that differentiate the KZN Midlands, and it is this uniquely special lifestyle from which Freerange has taken its inspiration,” she says. Located in Piggly Wiggly as well as offering an online shop, Freerange sells gorgeous women’s clothing and home décor items. “The clothing designs are real for real people. Think muted hues, raw textures and flattering, timeless cuts,” says Caroline. Her home décor pieces are sourced from all over South Africa and she avoids anything that has been mass produced. What she loves most about being a local business owner in the Midlands is the support from other local businesses, due to the area being smaller in size. Freerange Clothing is so excited to be able to interact with customers again!
082 804 7949
Endeavour Alpacas is a small family farm in Curry’s Post, the heart of the KZN Midlands. In their herd of 70 Alpacas, they have in 13 of the 22 registered colours. Endeavour Alpacas hand processes the fleece on the premises from shearing all the way through to an end product, such as knitted or crocheted beanies, gloves, woven scarves and table runners. They are open to the public on the first Sunday of every month or by appointment only. Your visit includes a tour through the paddocks, with an educational talk and a weaving or spinning demonstration. You will also have a personal encounter with these mystical animals in the Hembra’s Paddock. You could also choose to stay awhile by booking into their Nirvana Outpost, a private, small and unique tepee camp with four tepees, situated in the farm orchard, with a communal kitchen and ablutions for individuals, couples or families, or glamping, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Or, for those that don’t want to rough it poshly, there is the Rivendell House, the original renovated farmhouse that boasts four bedrooms and sleeps eight with the most awesome views of the Berg in the distance.
Nirvana Farm, Curry’s Post, Howick
Electrical & Solar Integrators
Wentzel Kleinhans has been working for the past 15 years in the electrical industry and currently owns and runs his own electrical and solar company called ESI (Electrical & Solar Integrators). After starting within the industrial sector, he moved across into the residential development sector, focusing on new builds, renovations and maintenance. It was during this time that he found his additional passion in solar (of which he has done extensive training and research) and all renewable energy, metering and energy audits that help clients with their electrical consumption. ESI is registered with the Council and the Electrical Boards and works to the highest standards of compliance. A passionate team of qualified electricians and labourers make up the ESI family who strive for perfection in all that they do. ESI is hands-on from start to finish, making sure that the client’s needs are met and they are kept involved and up to date at all times throughout the project. “We strive to work with honesty and integrity within budgets and time constraints and will follow up on all aspects of the work after completion to make sure we have job satisfaction from all of our clients,” says Wentzel. Be Bright… Go Solar!
079 896 7921
Indezi River Creamery
Indezi River Creamery is a proudly South African dairy producer and family-run business that has been making cheese in the Midlands since 1992. “Our ‘Grandpa Moo’ passed on his pioneering spirit, while ‘Granny Moo’ taught us to be creative, adaptable and pragmatic. Now the next generations are growing their legacy,” explains Kate. Indezi offers a fabulous range of both cows’ milk and goats’ products, including cheeses, yoghurt, milk and butter. They also offer celebration cheeses (beautifully styled wheels of cheese for special occasions) and kefir. As a proudly local Midlands business, Indezi and the family love the people, weather and views. They believe that this is the most beautiful part of the country and love sharing it with family and friends. They missed their customers and staff during lockdown and are glad to be back! “Shift rotation and physical distancing have been hard on us all, but we’ve been blown away by the commitment and creativity of our #absolutelylegendairy people,” says Kate.
033 492 0571
Trinity is a local, contemporary online women’s fashion brand that is sophisticated yet confidently simple. It is unapologetically addictive, much like the women who wear the label! Trinity aims to design innovative, contemporary and timeless garments and accessories that appeal to the modern women, with flattering, well thought out shapes that are made with great quality natural fabrics and yarns – with affordable price tags. “I love to see women who are confident and comfortable in what they are wearing,” says owner and designer Mandie Martin. During the time of COVID-19, online shopping has become a necessity and Trinity now offers an online store too. “I love that the Midlands is a community of creative people who fully support being local and, from my experience, the ladies who live in the Midlands are definitely the epitome of the Trinity woman – someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously and loves beautiful fabrics and garments that are stylish, simple, comfortable and uncomplicated,” explains Mandie. Trinity’s range of clothing is designed and manufactured in Durban, and their accessories, if not made by them, are manufactured locally.
082 659 9779
Terbodore Coffee Roaster
Over the past 16 years since their first roast in 2004, Terbodore Coffee Roasters has become a well-known coffee brand in so many homes and businesses throughout South Africa. Their Great Danes, the brand ambassadors, have become symbolic of everything they strive for: heritage, courage, patience and dependability. “We are living in the most spectacular area in our country in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, surrounded by beautiful farmlands. We have been blessed as a family to be able to run the iconic Terbodore Coffee brand – the roastery, popular restaurant, retail shop and deli – from our home, The Coach House in Curry’s Post,” said owners Mark and Marian Macaskill. They love the countryside and know that it is a privilege to be able to run a business in these surroundings and to be able to “walk to work”. “The support from locals is so rewarding – regular customers also become friends. We live in a diverse community and, if we stand together, we are a strong team.” Whether you are looking for a great cuppa, some delicious food or coffee for home, the office or hospitality establishment, Terbodore has it all and more! Relax and enjoy.
033 330 2380
87 Old Main Road, Curry’s Post, KZN Midlands
Taste Buds Farm Stall
Taste Buds Farm Stall is a little slice of heaven, situated right on our doorstep in the gorgeous KZN Midlands, opened on 21st February 2020 by long-time friends Sue Watson and Debbie Barlow. Sue started her own business, Brigadoon Farm Products, in 2016, and these items are all sold in the store. Taste Buds takes pride in supporting local farmers and small business owners in the surrounding community, in fact, most of their products are homemade by local entrepreneurs! They offer an incredibly wide variety of products ranging from household essentials to yummy baked treats and home cooked meals. Frozen meals made by local chefs as well as ‘hormone free’ meats, beef, Dargle Valley Pork, chicken and lamb are also available in store.Taste Buds Farm Stall is a combination of farm style comfort and modern beauty, offering all of our customers a welcoming and warm shopping experience. Those that come to visit the Midlands are always open to new experiences and Taste Buds love that they are able to offer them something unique! Both Sue and Debbie believe that living and working in the Midlands is truly a blessing.
D20, P134 – Main road, Dargle
061 231 5124
There is much pressure on parents to make the right choice of school, made even more difficult by the variety of choice in schools in the KZN Midlands. Making this decision is a process and there is no right or wrong way of doing so, as your child and your family’s circumstances are unique. It is a decision that will have a remarkable impact on the development of your child, so take the time to be sure both you and your child feel comfortable and confident in your choice. Make the correct choice, and your child will begin a marvelous journey of lifelong learning. Talk about pressure! Scan the QR code with your phone and you will find a set of pointers Cowan House has provided to assist you in making your decision a little easier. Cowan House, an independent, co-educational preparatory school in Hilton, encourages you to visit as many schools as you can, and most importantly, spend time with the teachers who will have such an influence on your child’s development. If you are not able to scan the QR code, visit www.cowanhouse.co.za.
Adventures of Riverlea Farm
Adventures of Riverlea Farm is a book series designed to target vocabulary growth, listening and sound/syllable play in an attempt to grow pre- and emerging reading skills. The first three books were launched in December of 2019, and books four and five were released in March 2020. As a Speech Language Therapist for the past 20 years, author Dr Penelope Alison has seen firsthand the benefits of language-rich homes. Research shows that children who are read to on a regular basis have better overall academic results once they reach school. “It is my aim to help bridge this gap with the goal of one book a day,” she says. When asked what she loves most about being local to the Midlands, Dr Penelope said, “I love the warmth and generosity of spirit found in the Midlands. We love to support local and cheer each other on. I have had to keep boxes of my books in the boot of my car for the countless times I have been stopped and asked if I have books for sale on hand!”
078 108 6207
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The Hay Barn
The Hay Barn is a country store that stocks a variety of products from animal feeds to antiques. Their animal feeds selection includes some big name brands such as Epol, Spurwing, Equi-feed, Meadow, Montego, Ideal, Top Dog, Liebe and Lionals Choice, and anything that they do not stock they try to source and stock for their customers. They also stock bedding, hay, chicken litter and horse manure to make your gardens grow. The Hay Barn is stocked with locally sourced fresh fruit and veg and is well-known for their lovely fresh farm barn eggs. They also stock a variety of new and second hand tack and other horse equipment and stable tools. The Hay Barn has accommodation that can host up to 13 people if two are couples and 11 if all are singles. The accommodation is made up of three rooms all with en-suite bathrooms. There is a communal kitchen and living area with braai facilities. It is perfect for groups or just families that want to stay somewhere different. There is also a working horse stud, efficiently run livery yard and a large events arena. With so much to see and do, it’s a must-visit when you are in the Midlands!
Shop Number – 072 808 9361
Candice – 084 668 3737
Facebook: The Hay Barn Farm Store