Female Owned Businesses That Should Be On Your Radar
Beyonce had the right idea when she sang ‘Who run the world… girls’. We’ve come up with a list of female owned businesses that should be on your radar, not just for women’s month but all year round.
Women in Food
We round up the female powerhouses making moves in South Africa’s culinary scene.
Mmabatho Molefe is celebrating Zulu cuisine and bringing people together with food at Emazulwini Restaurant at Maker’s Landing,V&A. You may know her from her communal fine-dining pop up restaurant, The Long Table Experience, where she brought strangers together through a shared dining experience. These days, Mmabatho is celebrating her heritage by highlighting Zulu cuisine at the new food market, Makers Landing, at the V&A Waterfront. We are excited to see what comes next!
Brewmistress and founder of Theonista, Meghan Werner built Theonista around the need to heal her gut and microbiome with kombucha. Now, she’s helping many others do the same with high quality ingredients and expert fermentation methods. Meghan started Theonista back in 2011 and her first customer was Clarke’s Dining on Bree (also female-owned)! Theonista became the first company in South Africa to sell kombucha commercial and has since become a household name. If you love booch, you probably have Meghan to thank!
Khayelitsha Farmer, Ncumisa Mkabile
Ncumisa Mkabile has gained national recognition after she started a small-scale farming business during lockdown. She has a small chicken farm but what gained her notoriety is the spinach and cabbage she has been able to grow in the unused land in between the houses in Khayelitsha.
She was able to use the power of social media to get people to start buying from her and see the value of her farming. The spar in Khayelitsha Mall noticed and is now stocking her spinach. Follow her Instagram account to follow her journey and if you would like to place an order check out her FB group.
Named after Elli Parolis, or Yiayia to her family, YIAYIA’s Table is a neighbourhood bakery and coffeeshop offering home baked Greek confectionary. With a menu inspired by Elli’s own recipes of traditional Greek delicacies and vibrant Mediterranean flavours, YIAYIA’s Table is dedicated to keeping her spirit alive through wholesome, comforting foods.
Grumpy & Runt
Female owned business, Grumpy & Runt, is a deli and donut shop in the heart of Cape Town, run by Johke and Carla. They are not only female-owned but also seek as far to employ as many women, particularly women of colour, as possible. From the barista to the cleaner and kitchen staff, it’s all ladies at Grumpy & Runt.
Their small deli in Dunkley Square offers a wide variety of New York-style deli food as well as delicious treats, all with one thing in common — everything is completely plant based. Another distinctive feature about this deli is that almost everything is made in-house, including their vegan butter, sauces, cheeses and meats. Enjoy a delicious reuben on rye or a delectable bagel, or even a donut or two, Grumpy & Runt’s food is sure to keep you coming back.
Kirsten’s Kick Ass Ice Cream
This female owned business is run by none other than Kristen herself. She started her business with an ice cream maker attachment that she received as a wedding gift. Ice cream made for parties quickly turned into ice cream orders for friends, and then strangers, and then an invitation to open my own shop in the Noordhoek farm village. They’ve now got additional locations in Constantia and Mauritius and have stockists across Cape Town, including Tamboerswinkel. Her mission and vision is to be the little community scoop shop where everyone feels welcome.
While the majority of their ice creams are made with milk, cream and sugar, they do offer flavours that are made with xylitol, as well as vegan options.
Tessa has been passionately baking for about 25 years making delicious treats from home. In 2012 she decided it was time to share her baked goods with the rest of us by opening up a shop and setting up a delivery service.
Her baked goods are all made from the finest ingredients, each with a unique touch, each creating a love story of its own. Ranging from chocolate caramel cake, red velvet cake, carrot cake, cheesecake, Peppermint crisp tarts, cupcakes and more! The perfect treat for birthdays, celebrations, tea time, and basically any time of day.
Lexi Monzeglio is the co-owner of Lexi’s Eatery. Inspired to bring a fresh, sustainable and plant-based eatery to South Africa, Lexi joined forces with her business partner to breathe some life into the culinary scene and encourage people to eat wholesome, delicious and plant-based food. Lexi’s Eatery has four locations — one in Cape Town, Sea Point and 3 in Gauteng Province.
Women in Fashion & Lifestyle
From personal trainers to make-up, South African women are making products designed for women, by women.
Rushda Moosjaee, or RushTush, is a powerhouse entrepreneur, mom of three and all round inspirational human. She started her career as a personal trainer and helped facilitate the opening of a functional personal training gym where she saw the need for tailored workouts specifically designed for women. Fast forward a few years and she has a fitness app, RushTushFit, an online store offering beauty products, make-up and pharmaceuticals as well as a range of fitness e-books made to suit anyone’s needs. It is so refreshing to see a personal trainer focused on enhancing women’s health and building confidence!
Rebecca Scher, founder of Best Jewellery, designs jewellery with the wearer in mind. Her 18ct gold-plated jewellery is designed to be functional while still looking gorgeous. Her earrings are hollow, making them light as a feather and perfect to wear from morning to evening. Rebecca believes that everyone deserves to feel the Best. She developed her brand in response to popular consumer culture that thrives of making the consumer feel ‘less than’. Instead, her brand uplifts and supports women and her jewellery forms an accompaniment to that ethos.
Julie Baby Punch Club
Nomvula “Julie Baby” Mxubane started making gorgeous punch needle cushions during lockdown. She realised she was super talented and started taking orders! Now the Julie Baby Punch Club is a group of domestic workers who are “nannies by day and punch needle superstars by night!”
Rabia Ghoor started swiitchbeauty® from her bedroom when she was just 14 years old. Seeing a gap in the South African beauty market, Rabia dropped out of school at 16 to pursue her career in beauty. Her vision was to create an affordable makeup line that South African consumers would feel proud to wear. Fast forward to 2021, Rabia is 21 years old and has already been awarded Forbes Woman Africa Young Achiever. She is 100k strong on Instagram and is growing from strength to strength. Go Rabia!
Women in Alcohol
It’s so refreshing to see how many female owned businesses are taking control in a heavily male dominated field, such as the alcohol industry. We love to see it!
L-Gin, a handcrafted gin brand, was created by three female friends who live in Elgin and love gin. After completing distillation courses in Johannesburg and Stellenbosch and under the guidance of master distillers, L-Gin was born. The business is female-run and the fact that the sumptuous fruit and botanicals growing in the Elgin Valley are used to produce their beautiful gin.
Their gin has been favourited by gin lovers across the country and took Gold at the SA Craft Gin Awards 2019. They truly take pride in what they do. ‘As you would expect from three girls, our ideas never seem to stop. We are currently in the process of two new products. So, watch this space.’
Founded by Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela, Brewsters Craft is the first black female majority owned brewing company in South Africa. Not only is Brewsters Craft providing a contract brewing service but it has also become the leading provider of training, quality analysis and consultant services within the South African brewing industry.
They pride themselves in using the latest technology in brewing equipment to offer superior quality products for a range of beer styles. They not only want to offer high quality service but they also want to empower current and future brewers through education and training.
Aslina Wines By Ntsiki Biyela
Aslina Wines is a company wholly owned by Ntsiki Biyela, the first black female winemaker in South Africa. Ntsiki has built an impressive resume over the years –she was awarded a scholarship to study winemaking, she then graduated Stellenbosch University with a BSc in Agriculture (Viticulture and Oenology), slowly thereafter joining boutique winery, Stellekaya Wines. She has consulted and worked with winemakers in California and France and sits on the board of directors for the Pinotage Youth Development Academy, which provides technical training and personal development for young South Africans in the Cape Winelands, preparing them for work in the wine industry.
She creates a wide range of wine stocked across the country and has already won many accolades and awards. Make sure to check out how to order and where you can buy her wine on the website below.
Trizanne Signature Wines
Trizanne graduated from Stellenbosch University with a degree in viticulture and oenology, worked multiple vintages abroad and then returned home in 2004 and was offered the opportunity of starting Anwilka Wines in conjunction with Klein Constantia role-players and Bordeaux winemakers. In 2008 she decided to start her own brand and thus Trizanne Signature Wines was born. She focuses on two very diverse wine regions, namely Elim and the Swartland.
She creates a wide range of wine, all delicious and has stockists across the country. Make sure to check out how to order and where you can buy her wine at the website below.
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