Ricochet News

Local franchisee celebrates 20 years in print!

Jun 4, 2018
Local franchisee celebrates 20 years in print!

Darren John, owner of both the Eastern Cape franchise of South Africa’s only franchised wedding publication, Wedding & Function, and the Border region franchise for the Home, Food & Travel magazine, has been in the game for two decades this year.

After completing his studies as a photographer and spending some time in his place of birth, the United Kingdom, Darren returned to South Africa in early 1994 and spent a year as a representative for the Johannesburg-based company, Photo Agencies, in the Eastern Cape, and then two years giving photographic advice at PE’s landmark camera oasis, Katz Camera World in Newton Park, Port Elizabeth.

He then spent a year working as an Information Photographer at the Office of the Premier in Bhisho, returning to Port Elizabeth in late 1997.

In early 1998, Darren joined Trevor Roberts’ team at the At Home Magazine as their photographer and stayed after they were bought over by Homemakers Fair as their Editor. After leaving Homemakers Fair, Darren joined Graeme Lund at Advertising Empire in order to assist in the production of their bi-monthly publication, The Eastern Cape Guide.

Within months, the Home Living Magazine was created and two years later, Darren originated the Wedding & Function publication due to his involvement in the bridal industry as a part-time wedding photographer. Wedding & Function was particularly successful and has since been franchised over the years.

Advertising Empire eventually split to form Ricochet Publishing, with Darren as General Manager. After the recession in 2008, Ricochet Publishing developed a unique trading system called Bargain Buys and The Eastern Cape Guide was absorbed into Home Living Magazine and together they became Home, Food & Travel – a lifestyle publication for the Eastern Cape.

In 2012, Ricochet Publishing acquired the Business Link Magazine and later developed the RNEWS website and purchased the Kids Connection publication. During his time at Ricochet, Darren was also associated with the municipal publications, the Ubuntu Magazine and the Sarah Baartman News (formerly Cacadu News).

In late 2016, Darren purchased the Wedding & Function franchise for the Eastern Cape and the Border franchise for the Home, Food & Travel website in early 2017, after which he resigned from his post of 14 years at Ricochet Publishing that April in order to go on his own.

“I have always regarded Home, Food & Travel and Wedding & Function as my children as they were both started in the same years that each of my boys were born!” he describes.

“Wedding & Function is a really user-friendly bridal guide and showcases local service providers to local brides every 2nd month! It also gives the advertisers a free online listing on the national website and includes social media exposure such as Facebook.

“Home, Food & Travel online is a fantastic platform for lifestyle related service providers to promote themselves on and includes exposure in the monthly publication and social media.”

This year, Home, Food & Travel will celebrate its 16th anniversary and Wedding & Function will turn 14 years old.

“I am very happy to have played my part in all of the projects that I have spent time with and am very excited to see the future of the two products which are closest to my heart!” John adds.

“I’d like to thank every single client I have dealt with over the past 20 years for their encouragement and support and wish them all every success in the future!”

Here’s to another 20 years!