Our story does not start with a big business plan, investors, chef training or a gelato-making internship in Italy (Although hey, any sponsors?). Our story is one of celebrating humble beginnings, building community, investing in relationships and growing through challenging times to reap the fruit of obedience.
In 2015 our co-founder, Marike, was freshly married and the Garden Route did not offer many employment opportunities for her Honours degree in Agriculture. Never scared to get her hands dirty, she started out as a waitress on the Redberry Farm, just outside George, and gradually got to know the owner Mark Miller. One day he showed her an empty barn on the farm and said if she could develop a concept for the space it could be her new job. Challenged Accepted. With no background in business studies or management experience she turned a rundown part of the farm into a cozy nook that now serves up barista-brewed coffee and the best scones and strawberry jam in the world (Just believe us. Really.). The RedShed opened its’ doors later that year and has quickly become a favourite spot for young and old – you can even enjoy a strawberry inspired cocktail to celebrate the weekend.
New opportunities lead Marike off the farm and into starting her Masters in Agriculture at Nelson Mandela University in 2017. However, the ties remained strong and a new business opportunity was on the horizon. Redberry Farm was growing and Mark approached Marike with the offer to pitch a business concept for the new spaces available. This task required some serious tag-team creativity and she could think of nobody better than her next-door neighbour, Madaleen van Staden. With a shared passion for small business, the friends conceptualised and co-founded Framboos Handcrafted Ice Cream and opened their doors in September 2017. However, behind those open doors was the testimony of answered prayer and God’s guidance in the detail of decision-making. After pitching their business plan, Marike and Madaleen applied for a loan in order to start the business. When the feedback came, only half of the amount they needed was approved. How do you start a business with only half of your budget? Seeking guidance, God clearly showed them that He will always provide – for them and for Framboos. As they took the leap of faith all the dots connected, from receiving unforeseen discount to having more than enough capital on opening day, they knew God was going ahead of them.
It was a whirlwind time – with Madaleen having her first child in June and Marike working on her Masters, but the fruit of their labour paid off. Working together through late-night business planning, early morning stock-taking and the joy of seeing even the oldest customer become a kid again as they choose between Bubblegum or Rum & Raisin, the journey grew Framboos into a must-visit Garden Route gem by the time the December sunshine came.
After such a blessed first holiday season it was time for some strong coffee, reflection and planning for 2018. What a privilege to see a dream fulfilled, to start a business, to see it succeed. And then for that dream to grow and develop in different directions. For Madaleen, that meant stepping down as co-owner and stepping into the calling of being a full-time mom. Still a big part of the family, but now just showing up more on the other side of the counter with her newborn Daniel (who could not wait for Mommy to give him his first taste of gelato!).
A new chapter started when Marike and her husband, Hendri, became business partners and started crafting a long-term vision for the adventure ahead. Although we work very hard to make sure every Framboos scoop brings a smile to your face, what makes us really excited are relationships, community and seeing individuals thrive. Ice cream has proven an amazing tool to not only bring joy to every friend that walks through our doors, but also for creating employment, equipping leaders and journeying together through the lessons of life. We love the handprint of every single kiddie that remains on our display freezer after the weighty decision of a favourite flavour, lingering conversations over the countertop and regulars that have become like family gathering around warm waffles at our tables. Looking ahead we continue to have an expectation for how God will use a tool as sweet as ice cream to bring about more than we can hope for or even imagine!
Mondays - Saturdays:
09:00 - 16:00
Closed on sundays
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