CRUSH CHATS TO Darling Sweet
Crush catches up with Frits van Ryneveld and Hentie van der Merwe, two gents who are living the dream – living in a small town up the West Coast and producing gorgeous artisanal toffees with unique South African flavours.
Tell us a bit about yourselves, Darling Sweet and how you came to be in the business of sweet making…
I (Frits), was living in the beautiful Swartland town of Darling, when I met Hentie. I ran an antique shop and also worked in the corporate world. I mentioned to Hentie – artist, trained chef from his years living in Belgium and senior lecturer at Dept. Visual Arts, University of Stellenbosch – that I wanted to make toffee. Immediately he was in on the idea! We decided on real, hand crafted, proudly Swartland/West Coast butter-rich toffees!
Tell us about the toffees you make…
We produce preservative free, handcrafted toffees made in our factory in Darling. The real old-fashioned toffee, made the real old-fashioned way.
What makes your confectionary different from commercial products?
Our toffees are handcrafted, our packaging is recycled paper, our cellophane is bio-degradable and we use only the best real local ingredients without any synthetic flavourants or colourants. And we produce our toffees slowly…
Tell us about your yummy flavours!
Currently we have:
Tannie Evita’s Classic Toffee – old fashioned butter toffee, proudly named after our Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout (turning 80!), paying homage to her life work. A bite of this toffee also goes to The Darling Trust.
Honey & Salt Toffee – a raw veldflower honey and fleur-de-sel from Velddrif makes this our local-is-lekker toffee
Sour Fig Toffee – made from the fruits of the indigenous Sour Fig plant (Carpobolus Edulis) – we call this our indigenous toffee
Orange & Pomegranate Toffee – we make our own orange juice reduction, so NOTHING is synthetic in our toffees. The pomegranate pips we get from Netgranaat.
Red Wine & Chocolate Toffee – a Darling Shiraz and cocoanibs from Cocoafair. An excitingly spicy toffee.
Liquorice Toffee – made from real liquorice powder and organic colourants, this toffee also boasts nothing synthetic.
Ormonde Wines Toffee – we use this top wine farm in the Swartland region’s unique wines to create and assorted box of toffees.
We love your packaging, who designed it?
When we decided to get our business up and running we contacted Hannerie Visser and she was a huge support. We said we want to sell old-fashioned toffees and are from the beautiful veldflower area of Darling. The designer team was Kinsmen (Fred and Gideon) and they created exactly what we wanted!
What is the your business philosophy?
Darling Sweet is a business based in Darling. We create the best quality flavoured toffees with flavours and most ingredients sourced locally.
We believe it is not just about making money – it is about producing a unique product while creating job and career development opportunities and also in a small way assisting in growing our country’s economic development. The future of this country lies with small companies like ours, creating employment and stimulating the economy.
Where can people find/buy your toffees?
We have been blessed by huge support from shops throughout South-Africa as well as Namibia! Please look out for our toffees on shelves. Also come and visit our shop and tasting room – 3 Station Rd, Darling and watch us produce toffee.
Win a hamper of Darling Sweet toffees HERE