No red-blooded South African can resist a tasty piece of biltong. If anything, the great success of Kleyn Begin Biltong is proof that we just can’t get enough of the meaty morsels.
Self-confessed biltong addicts Naomi and Anton Kleyn started making their own products in 2006. Naomi had already been making a healthy R6000 extra income by re-selling biltong to her friends and family when she and her husband thought they could create a better quality product themselves. They started experimenting with different meats and recipes and soon, they had a winner on their hands!
“The biltong-makers at Kleyn Begin make this company stand out above the rest,” Naomi says, “Our “secret” ingredient is US! Biltong making is not just about cutting a piece of meat, spices and drying – it’s about the people behind the scenes, the passion for making biltong. It is a “lonely” world cutting and spicing meat – meat does not talk back. Our staff is what makes Kleyn Begin Unique.”
Today, Kleyn Begin makes biltong in large quantities but only on order. They have reps in different areas that buy their products and re-sell.
“We would definitely want to give more people an opportunity to make extra money this way, as people are always hungry and when biltong is on offer. No-one can say “no thank-you”,” says Naomi, “For now, opening a retail shop is not on the cards. We have a special, one-on-one relationship with all our reps and that is how we would like to keep things for the time being.”
Naomi is particularly fond of beef products and says their clients seem to gravitate towards them as well. “Our whole pieces of beef biltong are yummy, to say the least. Our beef biltong stix, chilli and plain are also a winner. Our droëwors has been such a huge success, we just cannot make enough. Although we concentrate on making biltong, we also have other products available that are in huge demand, like smoked snoek. We oak-smoke the snoek and it is a winner too!”
At Kleyn Begin, Naomi and Anton are continually striving to make a top quality product that is affordable – despite the rising prices of meat and unfavourable economic conditions.
“We want to make our biltong available at a great price to each man, woman and child in South Africa. Not only because it tastes so good, but also because of its health benefits. Biltong is low in fat and high in protein. It compliments every diet and you feel great after eating a pure piece of great tasting meat. A daily challenge for me is to get Kleyn Begin’s name out as a supplier of best quality biltong in the market place at a competitive price.”
Naomi and her team aim to create a meaty masterpiece with every new batch of biltong and won’t eat any other products than their own!
“We are fanatical about our products. Its taste is an experience we need to share with the whole of South Africa. All South Africans love Biltong and the ones that don’t, must be from somewhere else – maybe another planet?!,” she says, “Without our loyal customers we would not be where we are today. We now want to take Kleyn Begin to new heights as our products have been tasted and proven a winner amongst so many others in the Western Cape. We would love all provinces to have a taste and decide for themselves.”
Becoming a household brand name – this is what Kleyn Begin are aiming for. And they seem to be on their way – even within a highly competitive market.
“As our slogan so rightly says – ‘All Great Things had a Humble Beginning’. We are proud to say we have products that are real quality and great in price. We started small and we are growing each day, but we will always remember our humble beginnings.”