It’s Braai Day every day at Kolskoot Vleismark in Upington and that’s because Hermanus Stevens is living his dream: he’s got his own business and he delights in serving up some of the juiciest cuts of meat to his loyal patrons. But, don’t forget his famous roosterbrood, it’s just as good as the braaivleis!
It can be said that Hermanus Stevens is one of the leading braaiers in the Northern Cape, but he is just a man that is passionate about what he does. The yard is filled with cut-in-half oil-drum braais on legs, which are welded together long-ways in pairs or threes. The Kolskoot Vleismark is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 am, but you can expect to see the flames shooting high into the sky by 7:30 am.
Hermanus says there’s no need for customers to delay the gratification of their appetites. They can help themselves to cooked meat from the roll-top warmers as soon as they get to the butchery. Meanwhile, those eager to taste the delicious braai produce can pick from the braaied and weighed meat – everything is fresh! But it’s not only the meat that brings people to Kolskoot. “The roosterbrood goes nicely with a braai,” says Hermanus. “Some people come here just for the fresh roosterbrood and watch it brown.”
It wasn’t difficult, he says, to come up with the name for his business. “I am a farmer and a hunter, so when I saw the name, it automatically came to light that with an arrow in the middle of it, it will have an immediate impact with customers. It also means that myself (the butchery), and the customers, are on target together.”
Kolskoot Vleismark also supplies fresh meat to prominent local entities like Medi-Clinic, Upington and the Bi-Lo shops, as well as other 24/7 convenience stores in the area, who want a wide range of braai products.
Just as well, says Hermanus, that he’s part of Tholoana, the Fetola-powered SAB Foundation Enterprise Programme.
“The support I received has helped me purchase a delivery vehicle with cooling facilities and a new cold room. Also, I understand the basics of business better. I have enjoyed the workshops, where I learned about pricing and costing, sales, marketing, and human resources.”
Hermanus dreams about franchising the concept of his shop, but first, he aims to consolidate and grow by equipping, upgrading, and improving the braai area to make it the main attraction. “I’d like to create a shaded, undercover area where people can sit,” he says, “and for the braai area to have an extractor fan.”
Indeed, there’s no smoke without fire, but Fetola mentor Anton Ressel doesn’t have to run around dousing flames in Upington. Anton says: “This is a solid business that has grown fast considering it is a little more than three years old. Hermanus is tremendously capable and entrepreneurial.”
The drought has affected the price of meat and this, in turn, affects profit margins, but for Hermanus, his butchery is not a get rich quick scheme. “It’s about knowing when I shut the doors at half-past five that I’ve served quality meat. It’s about customer satisfaction,” he says. He is keen to encourage other small business owners in the area to apply to the Tholoana Programme so that they might acquire the skills and confidence that strengthen entrepreneurship in the region.
For more information about Kolskoot Vleismark contact Hermanus Stevens on 0823920900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.